Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Parents Universal Resource Experts (Sue Scheff) Acting White by Connect with Kids

“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.”
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

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Sue Scheff (P.U.R.E.) Using Chores to Teach Better Behavior to ADHD Children by ADDitude Magazine

Chores are a necessary part of family living. Everyone — son, daughter, mom, and dad — should be assigned daily and weekly chores.

I know it’s easier to complete the tasks yourself, but you’ll be doing your child a disservice if he isn’t assigned jobs around the house. Chores teach responsibility and self-discipline, develop skills for independent living, and make the child with attention deficit disorder (ADD ADHD) a contributing member of the family.

Household tasks help the ADHD child feel like an important member of the family. Because he may experience more disappointments, failures, and frustrations than the average child, it is imperative that he knows he is needed at home. Choose chores that you know he can complete successfully. This will build self-esteem.

The Right Chores
When assigning chores, consider the age of the child, his interests, and his ability to perform a task. Then teach your child the task in small steps. Let’s say you want your seven-year-old to take responsibility for setting the dinner table. Together, count out the number of plates needed and show him their proper locations. Now count out the number of forks, knives, and spoons needed. Put the utensils in the correct places, followed by the napkins and glassware. Before you know it, your child can set a table.

Clarify the task to be completed, step by step. Pictures showing the steps can be posted on a refrigerator or wall as a visual reference until the chore becomes routine. (Older kids may need only verbal instructions.)

Knowing the basics doesn’t mean he is ready to take full responsibility for the job. Your child will probably need reminders and some supervision before he is able to complete the task on his own. Offer encouragement and praise for his efforts, even if they don’t measure up to your expectations.

Set a Deadline
Establishing a time frame — “Bill, I want the table set by 5:30” — will motivate him to finish the task. With children who can’t tell time, set a timer and let them know that, when the buzzer goes off, they should pick up their toys or feed the dog.

“Chores actually are a great help to David,” says Kate, David’s mom. “It’s a way for him to help us. Even though he complains at times, he likes vacuuming, preparing snacks, and helping sort laundry. Taking the time to teach him the job has paid off big for us. His vacuuming is passable and his laundry sense is great.”

“We try to show Ryan that a family works together,” explains his mother, Terri. “For example, if Ryan does his chores, we will have extra time to play or be with him. If not, we’ll spend that time doing his chores.”

Another mom says, “In our home, chores are done on a paid-for basis. Each chore is worth so much. My husband and I felt our son should learn that you have to work for what you want.”

Monday, April 28, 2008

Sue Scheff: The Feingold Program

The Feingold Program (also known as the Feingold Diet) is a test to determine if certain foods or food additives are triggering particular symptoms. It is basically the way people used to eat before "hyperactivity" became a household word, and before asthma and chronic ear infections became so very common. Used originally as a diet for allergies, improvement in behavior and attention was first noticed as a "side effect." It is a reasonable first step to take before (or with if already begun) drug treatment for any of the symptoms listed on the Symptoms page.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Sue Scheff: Huffing and Inhalant Abuse - Parents Need to Learn More About it

Monitoring your child will make your child much less likely to use Inhalants or other drugs.

· Know where your child is at all times, especially after school
· Know your child's friends
· If you find your child unconscious, or you suspect your child is under the influence of an Inhalant, call 911 immediately.

If you suspect your child might be abusing Inhalants, call the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222; or call the '1-800' number on the label of the product.

According to the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, "if you talk to your kids about the risks of drugs, they are 36% less likely to abuse an Inhalant." Parents can make a tremendous impact on their kids' choices by talking to them.


Saturday, April 26, 2008

Parents Universal Resuorce Experts (Sue Scheff) Single Parents: How to Raise ADHD Children – Alone

Seven expert strategies to help single parents raise confident, successful children with ADHD.

ADDitude Magazine offers great information for parents and adults of ADD/ADHD. As a single parent with an ADHD child, this article offers a lot of insight.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Sue Scheff - Parents Universal Resource Experts - Defiant Teenagers

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.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Sue Scheff - INHALANT Abuse - Parents need to learn more about it

Inhalant Abuse is an issue many parents are not aware of, they are very in tune to substance abuse regarding drugs and alcohol, however huffing seems to be a subject that is not discussed enough.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Parents Universal Resource Experts - Sue Scheff: Discipline Do’s: Creating Limits for ADHD Children

5 ways for parents of ADHD children to establish a reliable structure and solid limits.

Your child with attention deficit disorder (ADD ADHD) is loving, intelligent, cute, creative — and often wants his own way. He has the talk and charm to out-debate you, and will negotiate until the 59th minute of the 23rd hour. Like salesmen who won’t take no for an answer, he can wear you down until you give in to his wishes.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Parents Universal Resource Experts (Sue Scheff) ADDitude Magazine and Website


Wow - what a great informational website and magazine. ADD/ADHD is widely diagnosed among many children. Learn more about ADD/ADHD and other learning differences - click here.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Parents Universal Resource Experts (Sue Scheff) Addicted to Screens

By Connect with Kids

“Instead of using that time to become an adult, learning how to talk to adults, learning how to talk to women, learning how to talk to men, learning how to figure out what they want to do with their lives -- those are hours that are lost, that can never really be regained,”

– says Dr. Timothy Fong, M.D., addiction psychiatrist

The American Medical Association (AMA) reports that 5 million American kids are addicted to video games. In fact, if you add the time some children and teens spend in front of a screen -- TV, computer, cell phone or video game -- it equals more hours than anything else in their lives except sleep! And that begs the question: if they spend so much time plugged in, what are they missing out on?

Sabrina and her brother Ruben are fighting over the family computer. At the same time, their younger brother Daniel is playing video games with a friend.

“It’s just fun killing other people and stealing their stuff,” says Daniel, 8.

Sister Alinna waits to watch her favorite program on the big-screen TV.

“I dream about watching TV, and I watch Sponge Bob in my head,” says Alinna.

Four kids in one family who love anything with a screen.

“It’s just nowadays it seems like they’re a lot lazier and just want to sit on the tube and on the phone all the time,” says Harry Delano, the children’s father.

In fact, researchers at the University of Montreal found that one-third of teens spend about 40 hoursa week in front of a screen. For all those hours, what are the kids not doing? Experts say they’re not reading, studying, exercising or even just talking with other people.

“Instead of using that time to become an adult, by learning how to talk adults, learning how to talk to women, learning how to talk to men, learning how to figure out what they want to do with their lives -- those are hours that are lost, that can never really be regained,” says Dr. Timothy Fong, M.D., addiction psychiatrist.

Yolanda has tried to limit the time her children spend in front of a screen.

“Well, my mom gives me an hour on Myspace, but I usually do like three hours -- if they don’t notice,” says Sabrina, 16.

“Even though I get frustrated with it, I allow it to happen because that’s what makes her happy,” says Yolanda.


If you are interested in this story, you may also be interested in these parent videos:

Tips for Parents

If your children are like most children, they spend too much time glued to the screen watching television, surfing the Internet and playing video games. So how can you break this habit without wrecking havoc in the home? The answer, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, is to find fun, positive activities that children enjoy and to smartly manage their screen time.

Experts suggest parents limit children’s total screen time to no more than one to two hours of quality programming per day. (CDC)

Following are 10 tips for parents to help their children make a painless transition from couch potato to a physically and pro-socially active child: (CDC)

Remove television sets from children’s bedrooms.

View television programs with children and discuss the content.

Use the VCR to show or record high-quality, educational programming for children.

Suggest several options for positive physical and pro-social activities that are available through local park districts, schools and community programs.

Recommend pro-social activities, such as volunteering at the Humane Society, local nursing homes, special-needs camps, etc.

Encourage alternative activities for children, including hobbies, athletics and creative play.
Form coalitions including libraries, faith-based organizations, and neighborhood groups to help provide physical and social environments that encourage and enable safe and enjoyable physical activity, including new sidewalks, safe parks and keeping close-to-home physical activity facilities open at night.

Ensure that appropriate activity options are available for disabled children.
Serve as a good role model; be active physically, and be available and interested when your children are viewing television and surfing the Internet in the home.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)

Monday, April 14, 2008

Parents Universal Resource Experts (Sue Scheff) Teen Pregnancy

For parents, a teenage daughter becoming pregnant is a nightmare situation.

Every year, approx. 750,000 teenage girls become pregnant in the United States. That is roughly 1/3 of the age group's population, a startling fact! Worse, more than 2/3 of teens who become mothers will not graduate from high school.

If you are a parent who has recently discovered that your teenage daughter is pregnant or may be pregnant, we understand your fear and pain. This is a difficult and serious time in both yours and your daughters' life.

Our organization, Parent's Universal Resource Experts (P.U.R.E.™) works closely with parents and teenagers in many troubling situations, such as unplanned pregnancy. We understand how you feel!

No matter what happens, you and your daughter must work together to make the best choice for her and her unborn child. Your support and guidance is imperative as a mother. You CAN make it through as a family!

We have created this website as a reference for parents dealing with teenage pregnancy in hope that we can help you through the situation and make the best decisions.

Please visit our website, Help Your Teens, for more information as well as support.
For more information on Teen Pregnancy

Friday, April 11, 2008

Parents Universal Resource Experts (Sue Scheff): What an amazing story! Beautiful Boy: A Father's Journey through his Son's Meth Addiction

From as early as grade school, the world seemed to be on Nic Sheff's string. Bright and athletic, he excelled in any setting and appeared destined for greatness. Yet as childhood exuberance faded into teenage angst, the precocious boy found himself going down a much different path. Seduced by the illicit world of drugs and alcohol, he quickly found himself caught in the clutches of addiction. Beautiful Boy is Nic's story, but from the perspective of his father, David. Achingly honest, it chronicles the betrayal, pain, and terrifying question marks that haunt the loved ones of an addict. Many respond to addiction with a painful oath of silence, but David Sheff opens up personal wounds to reinforce that it is a disease, and must be treated as such. Most importantly, his journey provides those in similar situations with a commodity that they can never lose: hope --Dave Callanan


This is a book that parents that are struggling with a child today that is using drugs needs to read. David Sheff tells his first hand story with his son - between the tears, sadness and despair - there was hope.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Sue Scheff: Inhalant Abuse Among Teens and Pre-Teens

Inhalant Abuse is becoming a growing problem among teens and pre-teens. With parents, this is a very serious concern that parents need to become educated about.

As a parent advocate, I believe this subject cannot be ignored, and a matter that people need to learn more about.

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.

For more information on Inhalant Abuse visit - You could save a life today.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Sue Scheff: Breakfast Reduces Obesity by Connect with Kids

“The kids get all their stuff ready at nighttime, including clothes and packing backpacks and all that, because if we don’t, in the morning there’s no way that we could have time for them to eat breakfast, ever.”

– Yvonne, mother

It’s an old adage: breakfast is the most important meal of the day. And yet, an estimated 25 percent of children regularly skip it. Now, there is new research showing that eating at the beginning of the day saves calories the rest of the day.

“Do you have everything you need for school?” asks Yvonne, mother.

In lots of families, mornings are chaotic. Share the bathroom, get the kids dressed, pack up the book bag -- which often leaves no time for breakfast. But not at the Gonzalez home.

“You just want one egg each, or you want two?” asks Yvonne.

“It gets you up and running, and has lots of nutrition in it,” says Victoria, 9.

“The kids get all their stuff ready at nighttime, including clothes and packing backpacks and all that, because if we don’t, in the morning there’s no way that we could have time for them to eat breakfast, ever,” says Yvonne.

Researchers at the University of Minnesota studied more than 2,000 teens for five years. They found that teens who eat breakfast on a regular basis weigh less and eat a healthier diet than kids who don’t eat breakfast. Experts say skipping that first meal makes youhungrierlater in the day.

“And when we finally eat, we are ravenous and we are craving. And now we want a quick fix. And we want sugar and we want carbs and we want fat, and that’s what we eat,” says Dr. Ranveig Elvebakk, bariatric physician.

And that, says the doctor, forces the body to produce more insulin.

“This insulin brings the blood sugar into the cell, and what does the cell say? It says ‘I cannot possibly deal with all this sugar; I need to transform it and store it somewhere.’ Then you slowly plump up,” says Elvebakk.

One solution, experts say, is not skipping breakfast, and instead, having something substantial such as eggs or toast or cereal.

“You ate it all? Oh my goodness!” says Mom

Tips for Parents

Children who eat breakfast tend to have more adequate nutrient intake than children who do not.

By eating breakfast, students also get more of the important nutrients, vitamins and minerals such as calcium, dietary fiber, folate and protein. (Food Research and Action Center)

A higher percentage of children who skip breakfast do not meet two-thirds of the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for vitamins A, E, D, and B. (Food Research and Action Center)

Adolescents who eat breakfast tend to have a lower body mass index (BMI). Higher BMIs can indicate overweight and obesity. Girls who eat breakfast are more likely to have a lower BMI than girls who skip breakfast. (Food Research and Action Center)

Adolescents with one or two obese parents who eat breakfast every day are more likely to have BMIs within a healthy range than those who tend to skip breakfast. (Food Research and Action Center)

Try to serve a balanced breakfast that includes some carbohydrates, protein and fiber. Good sources of these nutrients include: (Nemours Foundation)

Carbohydrates: whole-grain cereals, brown rice, whole-grain breads and muffins, fruits, vegetables

Protein: low-fat or nonfat dairy products, lean meats, eggs, nuts (including nut butters), seeds, and cooked dried beans

Fiber: whole-grain breads, waffles, and cereals; brown rice, bran, and other grains; fruits, vegetables, beans, and nuts

Food Research and Action Center
Nemours Foundation