Saturday, May 31, 2008

Sue Scheff: Is Your Child in Trouble?

Is Your Child in Trouble?

This article from the American Chronicle by Genae-Valecia Hinesman lists and details several signs that parents should watch out for, as they may indicate problems in your child's life. Many of these signals are also applicable for inhalant abuse, but this is a great article to read for any parent.

1. Erratic Behavior

"As young people carve out their own individuality separate from that of their parents´, and seek an answer to the proverbial question, "Who AM I?" they could clash more frequently with those around them. They may be happy one minute and sullen the next. Even this is normal. However, if your child starts reacting violently, either at home or at school, clearly something is seriously wrong."

2. Loss of Coordination, Glazed Eyes, Slurred Speech

"Without question, only two things can explain these symptoms. The first is that the person in question has suffered a stroke or a seizure. The second is that this person is inebriated. Both situations require immediate action. If your child is intoxicated, your first duty is to keep them from leaving the house until sober, for their own safety and the safety of others.

Once they are coherent, find out what they were taking and where they obtained it. If they were found unconscious, and taken to a hospital, medical testing will be able to provide a toxicology report. Encourage them to seek help, if addicted, and at least undergo counseling to learn how to avoid future dependency. Help in any way you can, but let them know that they must want to help themselves, in order to successfully change for the better."

3. Persistant Sadness and Withdrawel from Others

"Any child showing these signs for more than two weeks without interruption is clearly depressed. A change in eating habits and/or grooming has probably also been noticed. If so, something, or a combination of things, has triggered these changes. Your job is to find out what."

4. Honor Student to Dropout

"If your consistently top-notch student suddenly loses interest in school with grades in two or more classes plummeting, take heed! Straight A´s simply don´t turn into D´s overnight. Sit down with him or her and find out what´s happening in your child´s life.

Whatever it happens to be, let him or her know that you´re willing not only to help, but to listen as well. Refuse to accept "Leave me alone!" or "Nothing!" as acceptable answers. If they won´t talk to you, find another trusted adult with whom they will talk. Seek professional help if they need it."

5. Drastic Social Changes

"Friends and companions can and sometimes should, change a bit by the time your child leaves high school. Nevertheless, if your child´s associates suddenly are vastly different in negative ways from those they used to spend time with, this is usually a very bad sign. It´s even more telling if they now avoid or shun their old friends for no readily apparent reason."

6. Finding Unusual Possessions

"Discovering drugs, whether prescription, over-the-counter, or illegal narcotics that you had no idea that your child was using calls for immediate address. The same can be said for condoms, birth control devices, cigarettes, alcohol, and drug paraphernalia of any kind.

Recently, even glue, industrial products, and cleaning supplies have been used as inhalants (known among teens as "huffing") by kids seeking to get "high"-- often with fatal results. Finding these in your child´s room, pockets, or belongings is just as serious as finding a weapon. More than a red flag, this is a screaming siren!"

7. Legal Troubles

"Finally, if your child has been arrested at least once, this is clear indication that the situation is rapidly careening beyond the scope of your reach. By the time law enforcement becomes involved two or more times, your child has become society´s problem and the courts will soon decide his or her future.

Repeated run-ins with legal authorities can never be overlooked as "just a phase". There may still be hope, but only if drastic measures are taken and your child still cares enough to save himself or herself. Only so many chances are given to legal offenders. Don´t let time run out. Intervene while you still can."

These are all excellent points and can be of help to parents who ask, "is my kid abusing inhalants?" The warning signs are often subtle, but they are there.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Parents Universal Resource Experts (Sue Scheff) Should your Teen Get A Summer Job?


Last summer your teenager lazed around the pool complaining he was bored. This summer, though, he's old enough to get a job. So should you send him to the nearest fast-food place to make him earn his keep? Before uttering an unequivocal and enthusiastic "yes!" take a little time to sit down with your teen and discuss the long-term effects of how he chooses to spend his summer.

There are certainly benefits to your teen getting a summer job. When she's bringing home some money, she can start paying some of her own expenses. She'll be occupied, less likely to get into trouble and won't be complaining that she's bored. But did you know that getting a job, even as early as the summer after her freshman year, can make her more attractive to colleges, too?

"Colleges want students to use their free time wisely and well," states Lisa Sohmer, a member of the National Association for College Admission Counseling's Board of Directors. "Students can have summer jobs to earn money, but they can earn –and learn – other things as well, such as maturity and responsibility." That sense of responsibility may catch a college's attention, but the type of work a student does will keep it. According to Elizabeth Wissner-Gross, author of What High Schools Don't Tell You: 300+ Secrets to Make Your Kid Irresistible to Colleges by Senior Year, it's not enough to get a job at the local pizza place."Ideally," she says, "the student's work experience should help further the student's interests and academic passions." In other words, the teen who aspires to be a doctor should be working in a hospital or research facility this summer instead of flipping burgers.

Click here for entire article:

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Sue Scheff: Safeguarding Teenage Drivers with ADD

Young motorists with ADD need to be extra careful on the road.

Here's how they can drive safely.

Motorists with attention deficit disorder (ADD ADHD) - especially teens - need to be extra careful on the road.

Here's how to help them minimize distractions and stay safe.

Pick a safe car. Larger cars offer greater protection in the event of an accident.

Help your teen with ADD learn to drive. Practice sessions should cover a variety of situations.Ask that he drive with an adult for at least his first 500 miles behind the wheel.

Don't let your teen drive at night. Most fatal crashes involving young drivers occur between 9 p.m. and midnight.

Don't let your teenager chauffeur other teens.

Remind your teen that he must wear a seat belt at all times ...and that he must never drive after drinking or using drugs.

For more on keeping teenagers safe behind the wheel, see AD/HD & Driving: A Guide for Parents of Teens with AD/HD, by J. Marlene Snyder, Ph.D. (Whitefish Consultants, 2001).

Monday, May 26, 2008

Carolina Springs Academy, Darrington Academy, Midwest Academy, Royal Gorge Academy, Red River Academy, WWASPS etc...

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

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

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 24, 2008

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

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

Friday, May 23, 2008

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.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Sue Scheff: Teen Career Angst by Connect with Kids

“I want to be at the top of the pile, and if I’m not there, I feel like I gotta do a lot of things to get there.”

– Michael, 14

There’s growing evidence that kids today are more worried about their future than previous generations. And that anxiety is occurring in younger and younger children. How can this type of anxiety impact your child?

Whether they’re involved in sports, clubs or academics, kids today are quickly learning that competition is a part of life.

“I think there is more competition these days to go to the best college, to make the best SAT scores, and it’s like everybody is trying to be the best,” 14-year-old Connie says.

Even at the tender ages of 12, 13 and 14, adolescents begin to worry about the future – “Where will I go to college?” “What kind of career will I choose?” “How much money will I make?” It’s a new kind of teenage angst.

Thirteen-year-old Trey feels the pressure every day.

“I set my standards very high and when I don’t achieve my goal, I feel very bad,” he says.

Michael, 14, pushes himself, too.

“You want to be better than everybody else. I know I do. I want to be at the top of the pile and if I’m not there, I feel like I gotta do a lot of things to get there.”

The National Association of School Psychologists estimates that career-related anxieties among teens have increased about 20% in the past decade. Experts say striving for success is great, but they also warn that if it becomes an obsession, it can be unhealthy for kids.

“They become anxious [and] jittery. They become worriers,” says Dr. John Lochridge, a psychiatrist. “They turn to drugs or alcohol as external ways to calm themselves down.“

Experts say that parents need to help kids put success into perspective and teach them how to pace themselves.

“[It’s important to] emphasize the moment as opposed to where we are going to be in five years, where we’re going to be in 10 years or what are we achieving,” says Dr. Alexandra Phipps, a psychologist.

But more than anything, parents need to help their children recognize the importance of “just being a kid.”

Says Connie: “Sometimes, I feel like I have so much stress on me. And I feel like at this age, I should be enjoying myself, but sometimes I don’t feel like I’m enjoying life as I should be.”

Tips for Parents

The recent barrage of layoffs and economic turmoil of the past year is not only taking it’s toll on the working class but it is also affecting children – even those in middle school – as they begin to worry about their financial future. According to the National Association of School Psychologists, career-related anxiety among children has increased approximately 15-20% in the past decade. Even affluent, academic achievers are finding themselves buckling under enormous amounts of pressure as they witness the world of work become a place of fierce competition.

This trend of children’s early anxiety over financial well-being is further evidenced by a 2007 Charles Schwab “Teens & Money” survey. The survey of 1,000 U.S. teens in aged 13-18 revealed the following statistics:

Despite their optimistic longer-term earnings expectations, 62% say they’re concerned about being able to support themselves after high school.

49% say they’re concerned their parents/guardians will not be able to support them financially if they attend college.

One in four (25%) say they sometimes feel guilty for being a financial burden to their parents (among teens 16-18, 31% say this).

More than half (56%) are concerned about their parents’/guardians’ financial well-being.

Is it harmful for children and adolescents to be worried about competition and financial success at such an early age? Competition is generally good for children, according to the National Network for Child Care. Whether children are competing for a spot on the volleyball team or a chance to win an academic scholarship, the experience helps them gain insights about their physical and intellectual skills and limitations. Competitions also enable children to learn teamwork, identify personal goals, develop criteria for success and motivate them to increase their efforts to attain the goals they desire. But if your child begins to develop a “winning-is-everything” attitude, parental intervention may be necessary.

If your adolescent seems preoccupied by future financial insecurity, you can take several steps to ease their angst. The experts at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism suggest you start by using these tips to guide your child when dealing with the issue of careers:

Encourage your child to explore his or her options. Be supportive by asking your child, “Can I help you get connected?” or “Can I help you with researching a career?”
You need to remember this is not your career decision. Have trust in your child and be supportive, yet informative.

The world of work has changed since many parents made their first career choice. So some parents need to realize some of their information might be outdated.

Direct your child to resources where he or she can research his or her desired career.

If your child comes to you with career and financial concerns, the best action you can take is to listen, according to the National PTA. Engaging in open communication with your child and sharing your own experiences and frustrations will help to ease your child’s anxiety.
If your adolescent appears highly stressed about the future, you need to take the necessary steps to reduce that amount of stress before it can damage your child’s physical health. The American Academy of Family Physicians cites these signs and symptoms that indicate your child may be experiencing too much stress and anxiety:

Feeling depressed, edgy, guilty or tired
Having headaches, stomachaches or trouble sleeping
Laughing or crying for no reason
Blaming other people for bad things that happen
Only seeing the down side of a situation
Resenting other people or personal responsibilities
The National PTA says that you can help your adolescent learn to keep his or her anxiety at a minimal level by teaching him or her the following skills:

Limit or expand the number of your activities and responsibilities based on your capabilities. Preteens and teens should have challenges without becoming overwhelmed.
Avoid unnecessary worry. Thinking about a problem in order to arrive at a solution can be positive, but constant and unconstructive worry doesn’t accomplish anything. It usually just makes situations more stressful.
Become better organized. Plan activities and goals a step at a time so that parts are accomplished. This gives you more self-esteem and more reasonable deadlines.
Practice ways to reduce stress, such as aerobic exercise, proper nutrition, yoga, meditation, deep breathing, relaxation exercises, sleep, massage, taking a whirlpool or sauna bath and by having FUN.
American Academy of Family Physicians
National Association of School Psychologists
National Network for Child Care
National PTA
Northwestern University

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Sue Scheff - Parents Universal Resource Experts - Teenage Gambling Addiction

Stop Teenage Gambling Education Needed At Local Schools

For the past few years teenage gambling has been increasing at an exponential rate. The increase in gambling can be contributed to family members who gamble, multiple television programs like poker tournaments and skillful advertising from the gambling establishments. It’s becoming an epidemic among our teenagers with no real solution being presented to the educators of our schools systems.

The new stream of commercials related to stop gambling has had very little affect. The commercials are geared towards helping people stop gambling but are not geared towards the individuals who have not experienced gambling at this point in time. The stop gambling commercials have not been able to reach the teenager with a compulsive gambling addiction. They however may reach the parents who may realize their child has a problem.

The only way to help our youth is to educate them in the classroom and at home. I remember years ago in health class they educated us on smoking and drinking. This was very effective on those individuals who never started. But the ones that were already addicted the educational programs were unable to reach them.

Read more about this subject here:

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Parents Universal Resource Experts (Sue Scheff) Inhalant Abuse Prevention Kit by Alliance For Consumer Education

In 2004, the Alliance for Consumer Education launched ITS Inhalant Abuse Prevention Kit at a national press conference at the National Press Club in Washington DC. The kit was successfully tested in 6 pilot states across the country. Currently, ACE’s Inhalant Abuse Prevention Kit is in all 50 states. Furthermore, the Kit is in its third printing due to high demands.

The Kit is intended for presentations to adult audiences. Specifically parents of elementary and middle school children, so they can talk to their children about the dangers and risks associated with Inhalants. We base the program on data from the Partnership for a Drug-Free America. Statistics show that parents talking to their kids about drugs decrease the risk of the kids trying a drug.

The Inhalant Abuse Prevention Kit contains 4 components: the Facilitator’s Guide, a FAQ sheet, an interactive PowerPoint presentation, and a “What Every Parent Needs to Know about Inhalant Abuse” brochure. Additionally, there are 4 printable posters for classroom use, presentations, etc.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Parents Universal Resource Experts (Sue Scheff) Can Children Grow out of ADHD?

Parents of children with attention deficit disorder often wonder if their kids will stay on ADD drugs for life. A medical expert explains.

I recently diagnosed eight-year-old Aidan with attention deficit disorder (ADD ADHD). When I met with his parents to explain the disorder, each time I described a symptom, his mother exclaimed, “That’s me!” or “I’ve been like that all my life, too.” At the end of the appointment, she asked me if she should be evaluated, as well.

As an adult, Aidan’s mother had jumped from job to job, and had difficulty meeting household demands. As a child, she had struggled through school, often getting into trouble and getting poor grades. After a thorough evaluation of her chronic and pervasive history of hyperactivity, distractibility, and other symptoms of ADHD, she was diagnosed by a psychiatrist who works with adults.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

"Wit's End" by Sue Scheff - A Mother and Daughter's True Story and more

"Wit's End!" is now available with my daughter's voice finally being heard of her experiences at Carolina Springs Academy. Order today at and you will receive it shortly. "Wit's End!" will be in all book stores in July, so order the early release today!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Sue Scheff: Parents Help Stop Bullying and School Violence

By Love Our Children USA
Childhood should be a time filled with wonder and joy, but the reality for many kids and teens is often much different. They're the victims of bullying at school or on neighborhood playgrounds.

Kids who are intimidated, threatened, or harmed by bullies often experience low self-esteem and depression, whereas those doing the bullying may go on to engage in more serious antisocial behaviors. Some kids are so traumatized by being bullied, that they contemplate suicide. Bullies often have been the victims of bullying or other mistreatment themselves.

Despite installing metal detectors and surveillance cameras in schools, many students are still fearful of violence because schools are not addressing bullying as a serious issue.

Bullying has become more prevalent than ever and students are scared!

Security measures to combat gun violence have done little to stop the school bully. The reports found that 9 percent of students said they were threatened or injured with a weapon in 2001, a slight increase from two years ago. The report further showed a 3 percent increase in the number of students who reported being bullied.

Bullying is commonly accepted as part of the school tradition. Schools and parents must work together to end this painful and
at times fatal tradition.

Recent Statistics Show:
• 1 out of 4 kids is Bullied.
• 1 out of 5 kids admits to being a bully, or doing some "Bullying."
• 8% of students miss 1 day of class per month for fear of Bullies.
• 43% fear harassment in the bathroom at school.
• 100,000 students carry a gun to school.
• 28% of youths who carry weapons have witnessed violence at home.
• A poll of teens ages 12-17 proved that they think violence increased at their schools.
• 282,000 students are physically attacked in secondary schools each month.
• More youth violence occurs on school grounds as opposed to on the way to school.
• 80% of the time, an argument with a bully will end up in a physical fight.
• 1/3 of students surveyed said they heard another student threaten to kill someone.
• 1 out of 5 teens knows someone who brings a gun to school.
• 2 out of 3 say they know how to make a bomb, or know where to get the information to do it.
• Almost half of all students say they know another student who's capable of murder.
• Playground statistics - Every 7 minutes a child is bullied. Adult intervention -4% Peer intervention - 11%. No intervention - 85%.

Most Recent Bureau of Justice Statistics - School Crime & Safety
• 1/3 of students in grades 9-12 reported that someone sold or offered them an illegal drug on property.
• 46% of males, and 26% of females reported they had been in physical fights.
• Those in the lower grades reported being in twice as many fights as those in the higher grades.

Bullying And What You Can Do About It
Bullying behavior is not always easy to define. Where do you draw the line between good-natured ribbing and bullying? Hostility and aggression directed toward a victim who is physically or emotionally weaker than the bully are more obvious signs of bullying. The result of this behavior is pain and distress for the victim.

Bullying is a form of child abuse and the bully is very likely to grow up as an adult who abuses children.

Types of Bullying
Bullying behavior comes in various forms:

• Physical bullying is perhaps the most obvious form of intimidation and can consist of kicking, hitting, biting, pinching, hair pulling, and making threats. A bully may threaten to punch a child if he doesn't give up his lunch money, for example.

• Verbal bullying often accompanies the physical behavior. This can include name calling, spreading rumors, and persistent teasing.

• Emotional intimidation is closely connected to these two types of bullying. A bully may deliberately exclude a child from a group activity such as a class party.

• Racist bullying can take many forms: making racial slurs, spray painting graffiti, mocking the victim's cultural traditions, and making offensive gestures.

• Sexual bullying is characterized by unwanted physical contact or abusive comments. For example, many girls experience the embarrassment of having their bra strap snapped by a bully.

Why Some Kids Bully

There are many reasons why a child may become a bully. They may turn to this abusive behavior as a way of dealing with being bullied and abused or living in a home where there is domestic violence. And just like their victims, bullies often have low self-esteem. Whatever the cause, bullies usually pick on others as a way of dealing with their own problems. Sometimes they pick on kids because they need a victim, someone who is weaker, to feel more important, powerful, or in control. They're often bigger or stronger than their victims and may use bullying as an attempt to achieve popularity and friends.

Bullies will often target someone who is different than others and focus on that attribute. Wearing glasses, being overweight, or being in a wheelchair are all differences that can be game for a bully's ridicule. A child doesn't have to be physically different from other children to be bullied. Being insecure, or smarter, or slower than their peers can also make some kids the target of bullying. The bully realizes that these children are unlikely to retaliate.

If Your Child Is Being Bullied

Do you suspect that your child is being bullied? Sometimes the effects of bullying aren't as obvious as a black eye. Other signs to look for include the sudden appearance of bruises, missing belongings, or the invention of mysterious illnesses or stomachaches to avoid going to school. Your child may be embarrassed or feel weak by admitting he's the victim of a bully.

To make it easier for your child to talk about it, consider asking some thoughtful questions. For example, you could ask what it's like walking to the bus stop or home from school. Often a child will unexpectedly change routines to avoid a bully. Or you could ask about what happens before or after school or during recess. You might also try asking if there are any bullies in the neighborhood who have threatened to hurt any kids your child knows. This might make it easier for your child to talk about bullies because he won't necessarily have to talk about his own experiences. It might also help your child realize that he's not alone.

If you learn that your child is the victim of a bully, do not overreact. Remember that your child is the victim; you do not want to add to your child's burden with an angry or blaming response. Although it's understandable that hearing your child is being bullied would make you sad or upset, try not to let your child see that - he might interpret your sadness as disappointment in him.

Helping Your Child Stand Up To A Bully

First, listen to your child. Just talking about the problem and knowing that you care can be helpful and comforting. Your child is likely to feel vulnerable, so it's important that you let him know you're on his side and that you love him.

Talk to your child about why some people act like bullies. Remember that your child may feel guilty, that he is somehow to blame. Reassure your child that he did not cause the bullying. Explain that kids who bully are usually confused or unhappy.

How can your child handle a hostile confrontation with a bully? Getting angry or violent won't solve the problem; in fact, it's giving the bully exactly what he wants. And responding with physical aggression can put your child at risk. On the other hand, going along with everything the bully says is not a good way to handle the situation. Your child must regain his sense of dignity and recover his damaged self-esteem - agreeing to be a victim won't accomplish this.

Empower your child to act first. For example, suggest that your child look the bully in the eye and firmly say, "I don't like your teasing and I want you to stop right now." Your child should then walk away and ignore any further taunts from the bully. If your child fears physical harm, he should try to find a teacher or move toward friends who can provide comfort and support.

Because bullies often target socially awkward children, you should encourage your child to develop more friendships. Suggest your child join social organizations, clubs, or teams. Encourage him to invite other kids over after school on a regular basis. Sometimes just being in a group with other kids can keep a child from being victimized.

In most cases, bullying won't require your direct intervention, but if you fear that your child may be seriously harmed, it's important that you step in. That may mean walking to school.

Take action and report it to the school immediately. Working together with your schools to institute conflict resolution programs is essential.It may embarrass your child, but his safety should be your primary concern.

Tell Your Child:

• Coping with bullying can be difficult, but remember, they are not the problem, the bully is! They have a right to feel safe and secure.
• If they are different in some way, be proud of it!
• Stand strong!
• Spend time with your friends - bullies hardly ever pick on people if they're with others in a group.
• They've probably already tried ignoring the bully, telling them to stop and walking away whenever the bullying starts. If someone is bullying them, they should always tell an adult you can trust.

This isn't telling tales.

They have a right to be safe and adults can do things to get the bullying stopped. Even if they think they've solved the problem on their own, tell an adult anyway, in case it happens again. An adult they can trust might be you, a teacher, school principal, someone else from your family, or a friend's parent.

• If they find it difficult to talk about being bullied, they might find it easier to write down what's been happening to them and give it to you or an adult they trust.

What Can Your Child Do If They See Someone Else Being Bullied?
• If they see someone else being bullied they should always try to stop it. If they do nothing, they're saying that bullying is okay with them.

The best way to help is probably to tell an adult. It's always best to treat others the way they would like to be treated.

• Show the bully that they think what they're doing is stupid and mean. Help the person being bullied to tell an adult they can trust.

If Your Child Is A Bully

• Watch for signs of bullying.
• Don't allow your child to control others through verbal threats and physical actions.
• Help your child develop empathy for the problems of the victim (target).
• Apply clear, consistent, escalating consequences for repetitive aggressive behaviors.
• Provide anger management counseling for your child if needed.
• Don't tolerate revengeful attitudes.
• Don't allow your child to have contact with aggressive groups.
• Limit your child's exposure to models of aggressive behavior such as violent television, movies and video games.
• As a parent, be a good role model for constructively solving problems.
• As a parent, be a good role model for getting along with others.
• As a parent, help your child develop a healthy physical image.
• Watch for the emergence of feelings of power and control.
• As a parent, know the whereabouts of your child.
• As a parent, protect your child from physical and emotional abuse at home.

You can help modify a bullying child's behavior by controlling your own aggression, along with the behavior of your children. If an older brother or sister frequently taunts, teases, or bullies your child, it's likely to damage that child's self-esteem and make him more likely to model that aggressive behavior outside the home by attacking other kids.

Parents really need to get more involved in their children's lives. That way they will be more sensitive to problems occurring. Promote honesty. Ask questions. Listen with an open mind and focus on understanding. Allow children to express how they feel, and treat a child's feelings with respect. Set a good example by showing them a healthy temperament. Settle conflicts by talking things out peacefully. Congratulate or reward them when you see them using these positive skills to settle a difference. Teach them to identify "the problem", and focus on the problem, "not" attacking "the person." Tell them conflicts are a way of life, but violence doesn't have to be. And finally, teaching them to take responsibility for their own actions will make for a healthier child, a healthier self-esteem, and there will be no need for any "bullies" or "victims" in the world.

Set limits for your bullying child. Stop any show of aggression immediately and help your child find other, nonviolent ways of reacting to certain situations. Observe your child in one-on-one interactions and remember to praise your child for appropriate behaviors. Positive reinforcement can be very powerful.

Talking to your child's school staff may also help. Tell them your child is trying to change his behavior and ask how they can help. It may be helpful for you and your child to meet with an educational psychologist or other mental health professional.

Finally, set realistic goals for your child. Don't expect him to change immediately. As he learns to modify his behavior, it's important to assure your child that you still love him - it's his behavior that you don't like.

Work With The Schools To Help Stop Bullies and Violence
Many schools already have a way of dealing with bullying.
They may:

• Have anti-bullying guidelines and procedures for dealing with incidents
• Encourage anyone who is being bullied, or has witnessed bullying to tell someone about it
• Have ‘bully boxes’ where people can leave notes about what is happening
• Have student meetings or even ‘courts’ where problems like bullying are discussed and dealt with
• Have specially assigned students or teachers who are there to help

If your school has an anti-bullying system, use it to get help. If you’re not sure how it works, talk to a teacher. Some schools ignore bullying. If your school does, don’t be resigned to being a victim. You can still help yourself and ask others to help you.

It's all about talking it out: Child to Child (Peer Mediation), Teacher to Parent (PTO's, PTA's), Teacher to Teacher (in service days), Parent to Child (at home). There should be town meetings involving the parents, students, and entire school faculty to discuss Conflict Resolution. The teachers should also allow the students to give "their" ideas on how they would like situations handled. For younger students, role playing of "victims" and "bullies" in the classroom will help them understand the cause and effect - how it feels. Another idea for younger kids getting picked on could be to have an older student assigned as a type of mentor that he could talk to, and who would step in to settle a conflict or dispute. Groups have also been created where victims and their parents can meet with other victims and discuss solutions. It's comforting to know you're not alone, and friendships can be made there. Many schools admit that the lockers are the most common place that bullying takes place. Teachers could take turns standing by these lockers during class changes.

The schools can also pass out questionnaires, and do surveys or polls to find out what students and parents think about what is happening and what they would like to see done. Some teachers have told me that their schools put up a peace flag outside on days when there is no conflict in the school. This promotes a pride in the school, and teaches them that even one person's actions can have consequences that affect everyone. Other schools are using posters, and having the students wear certain colors on certain days.

A local school in Pennsylvania participated in “Annual Week Without Violence.” One program included, "Hands Around Violence." Students made paper cutouts of their hand prints and wrote nonviolent messages on them, such as: "I will not use my hands or words for hurting." The "Pledge Hands" served as a visual reminder that together they can make a difference.

Other activities included a white out, where students wore as much white as possible to symbolize peace, a unity day, where students wore their school colors, and a smile day, where each student received a smile card and handed that card over to the first person to smile at them.

Another great idea schools are using is to have teachers hold up pictures of kids faces while asking the students, "How does this person feel?" This promotes a discussion aimed at helping kids to identify and describe emotions. And for teens, pictures of conflicts or stressful situations can be used to promote discussion & ideas for resolution.

Let kids know it's OK to talk about problems; that parents and teachers are willing to listen, and eager to help. Also, if your kids/students are "bystanders" to their friends, or other kids being bullied, tell them how important it is for them to help these kids by reporting it. If they are afraid, they can use an anonymous tip, or tell the teachers not to use their name when confronting the bully.

The anonymous tip is only suggested for those victims who fear revenge from the bully in the form of physical abuse for their "snitching." Yes, in many cases the name of the victim will have to be given in order for the conflict to be directly approached. A bully being accused of attacking a "nameless" child might try to talk his way out of it. But if a name is used in relating to a particular incident with a specific child, and if there was proof, or witnesses, it's harder to deny.

Telling is not tattling! When a kid or teen reports bullying they may be saving their own life or the life of a friend.

Getting Help

Helping your child cope with either being a bully or being a victim often requires outside assistance, such as from your child's school or the community. School is the most likely place for bullying to occur, so discuss your concerns with your child's teachers and counselor and ask what they can do to help. School personnel can be influential in helping a child modify his behavior. Take advantage of any psychological counseling services that may be offered at your child's school or in your community.

Additional Help Resources

American Academy of Pediatrics
Advice on Communicating with Children about Disasters

American Psychiatric Association

American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

American Psychological Association

Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS)

The ChildTrauma Academy

National Association of School Psychologists

The National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology

Friday, May 16, 2008

Sue Scheff - Parents Universal Resource Experts: 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.


Partnership for a Drug-Free America
Media Awareness Program

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Sue Scheff - Parents Universal Resource Experts - Parenting Your Kids Online

The Controversy

While the idea of addiction possibly forming through over usage of the Internet has long been ignored, doctors and parents are beginning to take notice of this disturbing trend in teens.

The term "Internet addiction" was introduced in the late 1990s and has been dismissed by the majority of medical professionals. Many believe that excessive time spent surfing the web is in fact a warning signal for a larger and more dangerous mental disease like depression. Others believe that while Internet addiction can exist on its own, the solitary behavior can lead to growing levels of depression, anxiety, self-consciousness and obesity.

Though the verdict is still out in the medical communities, parents worldwide are concerned over their teens as they spend more and more time in front of computer screens.

Sue Scheff™ parent advocate and founder of Parents Universal Resource Experts™, believes that Internet usage should be monitored closely by parents.

"Parents aren't as concerned with their teens who are online once in a while," said Scheff. "Parents are concerned with the teens who are completely addicted to MySpace or some other Web site. The ones who are not able to tear themselves away."

Sue Scheff™ along with so many parents, knows that that while internet addiction can be a symptom of or fuel a teenager's depression or anxiety, there are other dangers lurking from behind the web.

"The fact is that these teens can become introverts. It affects levels of growth and maturity." Scheff says. "The other thing is teens don't understand that people lie online, people aren't honest online. Do you really know who is on the other end of those messages or chat rooms?"
As parents, we must take a stand together to educate others on the dangers of Internet addiction. Looking for support from other parents? Visit the official website of Sue Scheff's Parents Universal Resource Experts.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Sue Scheff - Parents Universal Resource Experts - Are you at your wit's end?

Are you a parent of a teenager or pre-teen that is starting to make some poor choices? They are great kids, but suddenly the decisions they are making are worrying you. Is there a new circle of friends that you are not familiar with?

Are you at your wit's end?

As the founder of Parent's Universal Resource Experts we speak with parents on a daily basis that are struggling with today's youths.

Are you experiencing any of the following situations or feeling at a complete loss or a failure as a parent? You are not alone and by being a proactive parent you are taking the first step towards healing and bringing your family back together.

Is your teen escalating out of control?
Is your teen becoming more and more defiant and disrespectful?
Is your teen manipulative? Running your household?
Are you hostage in your own home by your teen's negative behavior?
Is your teen angry, violent or rage outbursts?
Is your teen stealing?
Is your teen verbally abusive?
Is your teen rebellious, destructive and withdrawn?
Is your teen aggressive towards others or animals?
Is your teen using drugs and/or alcohol?
Does your teen belong to a gang?
Do they frequently runaway or leave home for extended periods of time?
Has their appearance changed - piercing, tattoo's, inappropriate clothing?
Has your teen stopped participating in sports, clubs, church and family functions? Have they become withdrawn from society?
Is your teen very intelligent yet not working up to their potential? Underachiever? Capable of doing the work yet not interested in education.
Is your teen sexually active?
Teen pregnancy?
Is your teen a good kid but making bad choices?
Undesirable peers? Is your teen a follower or a leader?
Low self esteem and low self worth?
Lack of motivation? Low energy?
Mood Swings? Anxiety?
Teen depressionthat leads to negative behavior?
Eating Disorders? Weight loss? Weight gain?
Self-Harm or Self Mutilation?
High School drop-out?
Suspended or Expelled from school?
Suicidal thoughts or attempts?
Is your teen involved in legal problems? Have they been arrested?

Does your teen refuse to take accountability and always blame others for their mistakes?

Do you feel hopeless, helpless and powerless over what options you have as a parent? Are you at your wit's end?
Does any of the above sound familiar? Many parents are at their wit's end by the time they contact us, but the most important thing many need to know is you are not alone.

There is help but the parent needs to be proactive and educate themselves in getting the right help. Many try local therapy, which is always recommended, but in most cases, this is a very temporary band-aid to a more serious problem. One or two hours a week with a therapist is usually not enough to make the major changes that need to be done.

If you feel you are at your wit's end and are considering outside resources, it may be time to consider Residential Therapy. An informed parent is an educated parent and will better prepare to you to make the best decision for your child. In my opinion, it is critical not to place your child out of his/her element.

In many cases placing a teen that is just starting to make bad choices into a hard core environment may cause more problems. Be prepared - do your homework.

Many parents are in denial and keep hoping and praying the situation is going to change. Unfortunately in many cases, the problems usually escalate without immediate attention. Don't be parents in denial; be proactive in getting your teen the appropriate help they may need. Whether it is local therapy or outside the home assistance, be in command of the situation before it spirals out of control and you are at a place of desperation.

At wit's end is not a pleasant place to be, but so many of us have been there. Finding the best school or residential program for your child is one of the most important steps a parent does. Remember, your child is not for sale - don't get drawn into high pressure sales people, learn from my mistakes - gain from my knowledge. Read my story at for the mistakes I made that nearly destroyed my daughter.

In searching for schools and programs we look for the following:

· Helping Teens - not Harming them

· Building them up - not Breaking them down

· Positive and Nurturing Environments - not Punitive

· Family Involvement in Programs - not Isolation from the teen

· Protect Children - not Punish them

Some Informational Websites on Teen Subjects:

Teen Depression, Teen Runaways, Teen Pregnancy, Teen Internet Addiction, Teen and Youth Gangs

By Sue Scheff

Founder of Parent's Universal Resource Experts

Author of Wit's End!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Sue Scheff: ADHD Teens and Puberty

By ADDitude Magazine

What parents of ADHD boys should watch for as their sons pass through adolescence.

Until he was 10 or 11, Robert was cheerful and lively, if sometimes distractible and hyper. Then came 12 and 13. “He alternates between couch potato and monster,” says his mother, Anne. “What happened to my sweet little boy?”

What happened were puberty (physical changes) and adolescence (psychological and social changes), which occur when children begin maturing into adults. Some kids begin to “act” like adolescents before puberty; others may not accept the role of adolescent until long after puberty. Whenever they happen, you’re in for a bumpy ride.

Fortunately, boys with attention deficit disorder (ADD ADHD) don’t seem to have more difficulty coping with puberty than others. However, their particular problems and stresses may differ somewhat. Here are some issues to consider.

Click here for entire article.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Sue Scheff: Alliance for Consumer Education on Inhalant Abuse

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

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Sue Scheff - Parents Universal Resource Experts (P.U.R.E.)

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?...

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Friday, May 9, 2008

Parents Universal Resource Experts (Sue Scheff) is a website that offers parents a wide variety of information for parent from toddlers to teens!

Check it out and learn more about parenting your individual child.

What is is an online resource for parents with kids in preschool through grade 12.On our site you can:

Search over 4,000 reference articles from the best and most authoritative sources across the web. From the NYU Child Study Center to the Autism Society of America, Reading is Fundamental to Stanford University School of Education, our Reference Desk brings the best information from the most trusted universities, professional associations, non-profit institutes, and government agencies together in one place.

Browse our online magazine for hundreds of ideas that take learning beyond the classroom and into your family’s everyday life. We cover topics across the parental spectrum-- from practicing fractions by baking cookies, to how to deal with ADHD, bullying, to navigating the parent-teacher conference.

Explore virtual neighborhoods where parents with similar interests or challenges connect to trade advice and share their experiences with one another—whether it’s about dyslexia or dioramas.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Sue Scheff - Teens Lying, Cheating, Stealing

By Connect with Kids

When Nobody's Looking

In When Nobody's Looking, the latest research shows that cheating is at an all time high. Seven out of 10 students admit to cheating in school and sports - and more than half of them believe it is acceptable. Nine of out 10 students say they lie to their parents, and nearly 50 percent of shoplifters are adolescents.

How can you help children become more ethical, truthful and responsible? Watch When Nobody's Looking, and listen to the true stories in the program. It’s a perfect way to begin a conversation about your own values and expectations... to understand your children’s fears, the pressure they feel, their worries about college, scholarships, homework. You’ll also get the latest advice from interviews with child experts and educators, and important information from the free Program Viewing Guide.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Sue Scheff: Bystanders Learning 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

Parents Universal Resource Experts (Sue Scheff) Criminal Activity and Your Teen

For many kids, adolescence is a trying phase of life. Body changes, school pressures, and personality changes can be very overwhelming to your teen when occurring all at once. Because of these pressures, adolescents can be more susceptible to things like peer pressure. Whether it’s out of a desire to fit in or stand out, your normally levelheaded teen can be easily pressured into committing dangerous and illegal acts they might never otherwise consider.

Sometimes, these activities are relatively harmless, and can include things like dying their hair a bold color, or cutting a class or two. But often, many teens find the desire to fit in so strong they are willing to compromise their own morals to be part of the ‘in’ crowd. They may be more likely to experiment with drugs or alcohol, or commit other criminal activities, all for the sake of ‘fitting in’.

Though there are many dangers your teen may encounter, this site deals specifically with teenagers and criminal activity, like shoplifting, vandalism, and violent crime. Teens can partake in these activities for many reasons- peer pressure being just one of a long list of possibilities.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Sue Scheff: Building Social Skills for ADHD Children

By ADDitude Magazine

Role-playing strategies to help your child get along with others—even bullies

Making eye contact. Not interrupting. Taking turns. If your child with attention deficit disorder (ADD ADHD) needs help with these and other social skills, you may want to give “role-playing” a try. By testing out various personas, he can see how simple changes in what he says and does can help him get along better with friends and family members.

Role-playing works with almost any child who is old enough to talk. It’s especially good for teaching children how to deal with teasing — a problem familiar to many kids with ADHD.

Consider the case of Joe B., a nine-year-old I recently treated. Joe’s parents sought my help because he kept overreacting to playful (but sometimes hurtful) verbal banter that came his way during recess. On one such occasion, after Joe did something silly, a playmate laughed at him and called him a “turkey head.” Enraged, Joe shoved the boy and burst into tears. He looked like a crybaby.

Joe acknowledged shoving the other boy, but said to me, “He started it.” Joe felt it was the other boy who needed to change. I explained to Joe that he couldn’t always control what other people did, but that he always had a choice about how to react. “You’re the boss of yourself,” I told him.

Talking things over made Joe feel better, and I decided that role-playing might help Joe avoid future incidents. Here are the basic steps I used with Joe that you might try with your own child:

Define the problem. Talk things over until you understand the exact nature of the problem facing your child. Joe’s problem, of course, was that he felt angry and sad when kids called him names—and couldn’t stop himself from lashing out physically.
Acknowledge bad feelings. Let your child know that it’s normal to be upset by teasing. Joe’s parents and I made sure that he understood that—and that it was not OK for children to pick on him.
Discuss alternative ways to respond. Explain to your child that there are many ways to respond to teasing, some good and some not so good. Shoving the teaser was a bad choice. Joe and I explored better options, including walking away from the encounter and saying “I don’t care” over and over, until the teaser got bored. Ultimately, Joe decided he’d simply say, “Please stop it.” He said that gave him a sense of control over the situation.
Reenact the situation. Once you’ve armed your child with socially acceptable ways to respond, let him play the role of the child being teased while you play the teaser. Then switch roles, varying the “script” to explore the different ways in which the scenario could play out. You might videotape the role-playing sessions and review the tapes at a later time with your child to reinforce appropriate behavior.
Celebrate success. If your child comes home announcing that he has used the lessons learned in role-playing, congratulate him. Give him a high-five, and tell him how proud you are — even if he didn’t do everything you had practiced. This is not the time to nit-pick.
Role-playing didn’t help Joe right away. But one day, a few weeks after we began our sessions, Joe was beaming when he came into my office. Once again, a playmate had teased him, but this time Joe hadn’t struck back. “I told him I didn’t care what he thought,” Joe explained.

Over time, as we continued our sessions, Joe got even better at controlling his behavior on the playground. Other children accepted him as one of the gang, and that made him feel good about himself.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Sue Scheff: What is Inhalant Abuse?

After receiving a heartwarming email from a parent that lost her precious son at a very young age to inhalant abuse (sniffing/huffing air freshener), as a parent advocate, I believe I have to continue to bring this awareness to all parents of teens and pre-teens. Many talk to their kids about the dangers of drug use, but please include inhalant use - you could save a life. - Sue Scheff

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.

Click here for a list of abusable products.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Sue Scheff - Parents Need to Learn How to Keep Kids Safe Online

Finding a Healthy Balance
Warning Signs your Teen May Be Addicted
Psychological and Physical Signs and Symptoms

If you are worried that your teen may be suffering from an unhealthy addiction to the Internet, there are many physical and mental warning signs to watch for. Many of these symptoms are very similar to those of depression and anxiety, another very serious condition affecting teens today. If you feel your teen is suffering from depression, please visit Sue Scheff™'s web resource on teen depression and anxiety.

Feelings of intense happiness and euphoria while using the Internet, and feelings of depression, anxiety or irritability if away from the computer

Cravings for the Internet - Never having enough time with it

Neglecting family and friends - spending more time with the computer and less time doing activities previously enjoyed.

Getting behind on homework or school activities

Lying about what they are doing while online

Complains of dry eyes

Complains of Headaches

Complains of Backaches

Changes in eating habits such as skipping meals or over eating

Neglect of personal hygiene

Problems with sleep

What Should Parents Do?

Examine your Internet habits. Do you spend too much time in front of the screen? The habits of you and your family impact your teen. Be a good role model!

Look for the above warning signs, and take action if you feel your teen may be at risk. Seek professional help.

Always keep the computer in a common area of the home where it can be monitored by you.
DO NOT BAN THE INTERNET. Instead, work with your teen on a time schedule that feels fair to the both of you.

Encourage social activity outside of the Internet. Because chatting, emails, and other online social media make it easy for teens to stay at home, open the door to more outside activity. Plan events with friends and family.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Parents Universal Resource Experts (Sue Scheff) At Risk Teens, Troubled Teens, Struggling 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) Teen Cults

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.