Saturday, September 27, 2008

Sue Scheff: Teen and Adult Gossip

Source: OnTeensToday

Gossip. That’s all you seem to hear about nowadays in a crowded hallway at High School, middle school, or even a small form of it in elementary school. “She said this, he did that,and they reacted this way.” Can you hear yourself?

Everything you hear from one person to another that does not come directly from that individual is up for revamping, primping, and complete destruction from the original story. Oh, sure it’s fun to hear about an embarrassing story which happened to someone else and in some cases, it raises your own self esteem. How could she have done that? What was she thinking? I would never do anything like that. Poor kid.The secret is that not only do kids and teenagers gossip; adults are in on the act as well.

I dare you to try to walk down town and window shop. Meander by the clothing stores, and slide into a book store. Hundreds of rows of shelves are dedicated to novels that range from romantic to tragedy. Look towards the back of the store and you’ll find the leading source of gossip: magazines.

Written works such as “Teen People”, “People”, “Star”, and “Ok!” Magazine have a little if not all gossip in each issue. Remember Britney Spear’s emotional wreck when she shaved her head? How did you hear about that? What about Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s baby photos which were anticipated for months?

Each article has a speck of truth hidden behind layers of polished-up revisions; does anybody ever ask why an event may have happened or how the person being talked about feels?

In a world that is so focused on having money, being glamorous, and being talked about, gossip is inevitable. Imagine being talked about, and stalked 24/7; Now focus your thoughts back onto the school scene.No matter the scenerio, gossip is there and is hurtful. Potential lies are being spread by the minute and a person’s reputation is being damaged. Stop fluffing up stories. Resist listening to tales about someone’s mistake wide-eyed and take all of the information with a grain of salt.

The only way to know the real–or at least most accurate side to a story is to strike up a conversation with the victim.

* Maybe one day you’ll be saved from embarrassment if you show respect to the other person.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Sue Scheff: 10 Types of Teen Internet Users

For all parents and others that work with today’s teens and tweens - OnTeensToday is a fantastic way to find out what our kids are thinking today! Vanessa Van Petten is not only an author, she shares her own teen experiences to help us today. Visit for so much more!

From OnTeensToday:

I have noticed that there is a huge spectrum of teens online. There are literally thousands of articles that have been written in the past four years about teens online (I have written some of them!) but they refer to teens online all the same. This is simply not true, there are many different kinds of ‘users.’

Teen Internet User 1: Centers

These are the heaviest users. They live and breathe online. They sneak internet in the middle of the night and are on every social network imaginable. They also want all the latest trends and new gadgets. Taking away their phones or computers is the worse possible punishment. They are the ultimate techies and love to write their own Java and HTML.

Teen Internet User 2: Networkers

These users do not visit anything but the social networks. They do not care to discover new sites or learn programming. All they want to do is chat, share and network with friends. They are the first to discover any changes on MySpace and have started 36+ groups on Facebook.

Teen Internet User 3: Communicator

These teens do visit social networking sites occasionally but only as a means of communicating. They live on IM. Video chat, IM and emails are where they spend the most time.

Teen Internet User 4: Seeker

These teens tend not to be as social and like to discover online. Unlike the Centers, when they discover something new they do not spread it around to all of their friends (maybe a select few), but they like to find new websites and participate in more of the underground internet. They are the tech insulars and only want websites that are grassroots and authentic.

Teen Internet User 5: Listener

Some teens seem to use the Internet exclusively to find, follow and research music and new bands. They are usually addicted to MySpace and cruise the web with their earphones in.

Teen Internet User 6: Schooler

These teens have little interest in the Internet besides what is necessary for school. If they chat it is not much, their friend set-up their Facebook profile for them and they are not overly impressed with anything online except maybe the occasional YouTube video.

Teen Internet User 7: Gamer

Gamers, quite obviously are avid Internet players. They play World of Warcraft until 3am (or they would if you would let them) love games on and They asked for a joystick for Christmas.

Teen Internet User 8: Watcher

Some teens love to watch webisodes, YouTube surf or TV shows online. They get all of their entertainment through your broadband cable and often reject traditional TV.

Teen Internet User 9: Expresser

These teens keep online diaries, write poetry for ezines and might even have their own blog. They love posting comments on other blogs and writing articles to submit for larger online publications. The Internet is their voice.

Teen Internet User 10: Informer

These teens use the Internet to stay current. They read newspapers, comment in political forums and have impressive RSS feeds of lots of online resources.
Yes, teens can be a combination of a few of these, or dabble in a little bit of gaming but are really Networkers (or they game to network via World of Warcraft chatting.) What kind of teen do you have?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Sue Scheff: Tips When Your Child Starts Dating

Source: OneToughJob

Your Child's Behavior at 12 -15 years old

As your child moves from childhood into the teenage years, she will encounter many social and cultural challenges. It is an exciting time and yet a scary time for your child. As she moves more toward independence, she will be convinced she knows everything, you know nothing and you were literally born yesterday. In fact, at this time, she needs you more than ever. By knowing what to expect at this stage of your child's life, you are better equipped to interact effectively with her. By communicating clearly with your child and listening to what she has to say and the emotions she is expressing, you can help your child through this stage.

Tips for Dating

1.Talk with your child about what she hopes for from dating and from relationships.
2.Let her know your concerns and hopes for her as she goes out on dates.
3.Know who your child is hanging out with and dating.
4.Talk with the parents of those kids.
5.Set clear rules about who can be with her in your home when there are no adults present.
6.Teach manners and how to be respectful of others.
7.Let your child know she can always call home if she is uncomfortable or feels worried.
8.Tell your child to have fun—dating should be fun.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Sue Scheff: Parents Everywhere!

I recently discovered a great website of podcasts to help educate parents on today’s kids - including teens, pre-teens and younger!

Take a peek at - If you are a parent, I am sure there is topic that will interest you!

The Parents Everywhere Network is an incredible resource of experts who provide you with the parenting tools you need every week. Subscribe to our Podcasts for free and each show will be automatically downloaded to your computer where you can listen to each episode on your computer, or copy the files to your iPod or MP3 Player. You can also listen directly from our website, where ever you see the embedded player. The shows are free, convenient and only 20 minutes long. You can listen anytime, anywhere!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Sue Scheff: Teens and Steroids

Don’t Be An Asterisk. Whether it is a potential college scholarship or just helping the team win, some teens feel pressure to do whatever it takes to get an “edge”, even if it means taking steroids or other illegal substances.Hopefully the striking video and information available on the official website (link below) will educate teens and their families about performance enhancing drugs.

Check out the 30 second PSA video here:

For more information on the campaign visit:

I just received this educational information for parents to be aware of - be sure to take a minute to visit this website and a minute to watch the video. Being an educated parents helps you to help your teen!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Homework Help Tip Sheet

Source: All Kinds of Minds

“Schools should teach kids how to learn, and parents should teach them how to work by establishing work rules and work ethic at home.” – Dr. Mel Levine, Co-Founder and Co-Chair, All Kinds of Minds

Homework provides an opportunity for parents to reinforce and build upon what a child learns at school. Follow these tips to help your child achieve success during homework time.

Set a consistent time each day for doing homework. During this time, distractions should be limited (e.g., television should be off; other family members should be doing quiet work too).

Encourage your child to make a homework checklist. The checklist should include estimating how long each assignment will take, setting priorities, collecting materials for the first task, setting a timer, completing the task, collecting materials for the next task, resetting the timer, and placing the completed assignments in his backpack.

As needed, provide assistance to help your child get started on a task. Support might include providing the first sentence of a paragraph or clarifying directions.

Help your child make a list of all the materials he needs to gather before starting his homework.
Provide materials only as they are needed. For instance, instead of distributing an entire package of pencils, give your child two pencils at a time.

Break large tasks into smaller, shorter, or simpler “mini-tasks.” Allow your child to take a brief break after completing each mini-task.

Before beginning homework, encourage your child to decide which assignments can be done without assistance and which require the help of an adult. The simpler assignments should be completed before the more complex tasks.

Ask, “Why do we need to learn this?” and answer it seriously. Connect the concept with “real life” to establish relevancy and interest. If you need help making the connection, ask your child’s teacher.

Check work in progress. If an assignment that is given on Monday is due on Friday, ask your child to show you what she has finished each day or to show you a plan of what will be done each day between Monday and Friday.

Encourage your child to follow a writing process. For instance, use the C.O.P.S. proofreading strategy (capitalization, organization, punctuation, spelling) to create a checklist.

All Kinds of Minds is a non-profit institute that develops programs to help parents, educators, clinicians, and students address differences in learning. For more information and additional tips for helping students succeed, visit © 2006 All Kinds of Minds

Monday, September 15, 2008

Sue Scheff - Shares Her Story

Weston, Florida - Parent Sue Scheff knows all too well the frustrations of dealing with a troubled teen. Being a single mom was tough, but as daughter Ashlyn reached her teenage years, the problems became too much to handle. Bad decisions and difficult situations left Sue Scheff with no choice but to look to outside help for her troubled teen and salvation for strained family.What she didn’t know continues to haunt her. Seven years after her devastating travels through the teen help industry,Sue Scheff has become an advocate for safe alternatives and parent education. Through her organization, Parents Universal Resource Experts, Scheff has helped numerous families safely and successfully find help.
"Leap, and the net will appear!" Julia CameronListen to my new Radio Show, Journeys from the Heart...

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Movie Smoking Makes Teens Smoke

“That makes a lot of kids think about doing the same thing because these are their role models.”

– Arielle Jacobs, 13 years old

Will kids smoke just because they see an actor or actress in a movie light up? Sixteen-year-old Jay McManeon says, “no way.”

“For me, it doesn’t really matter if I saw someone smoking in the movie,” he says.

But other teens argue that smoking in movies does have an effect on teens.

“If they thought it was cool enough, like you if it was your idol, you might. If he smokes … you might want to do it,” 17-year-old Ryan Moses says.

A new report suggests he’s right.

After a review of more than 1,000 different studies, the National Cancer Institute finds that some kids start smoking because of what they see in the movies.

“Now what that is saying is even if you are doing a lot of things, like not smoking in your house and helping your kids stay away from other influences, the movies can overcome all of that influence,” says Dr. Terry Pechacek of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Experts say that’s why it’s important for parents to talk to kids about how movies may glamorize smoking and to explain that it’s not reality.

“Kids need resistance skills. They need to be able to interpret the media images,” Dr. Pechacek says.

The CDC produces three-minute video clips, hosted by teen actors, designed to do just that – show kids how actors use smoking in movies as a crutch.

“And there are even people who believe high rates of smoking in movies should be used as a criteria for parents saying, just like sex, just like violence … that I don’t think you should see this movie,” Dr. Pechacek says.

No matter what influences a child to start smoking, few would disagree that stopping is a whole lot harder.

Sixteen-year-old Jay McManeon could not agree more.

“I never think smoking’s an OK thing. It’s bad for your lungs. I just do it ‘cause I’m addicted,” he says.

Tips for Parents

A study published in The Lancet further illustrates how watching television or movies with actors who smoke negatively impacts youth behavior. Researchers from Dartmouth Medical School analyzed the viewing habits of 2,603 nonsmoking children aged 10 to 14, keeping track of how many incidents of smoking occurred in each movie they watched from a list of 50. After two years, they found that 10% of the children took up smoking or had at least tried it. Consider these additional findings from the study:

Of those children exposed to movies with the least amount of on-screen smoking, 22 began smoking.

Of those children exposed to movies with the highest occurrence of on-screen smoking, 107 became smokers.

Approximately 52% of the startup in smoking could be attributed to the movies.
Children of nonsmokers who watched movies with the highest number of smoking scenes were four times more likely to begin smoking than those who viewed movies featuring few smoking actors.

More than 6,000 children under the age of 18 try their first cigarette each day. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also reports that more than 3,000 become daily smokers every day. It’s estimated that 4.5 million adolescents in the United States are cigarette smokers. 90 percent of cigarette smokers start before they turn 21.

The statistics show that little progress has been made in the past decade in reducing teen smoking. The American Lung Association calls smoking a “tobacco-disease epidemic” and points to the high rates of cigarette use among high school seniors, particularly girls, as evidence of this lack of progress.

Health and medical experts agree that parents must discourage children from starting to smoke and becoming addicted. Parents should also talk to their children about the health risks of tobacco and set a good example for their children by not smoking themselves. School-based tobacco education programs have also been shown to be effective in reducing the onset of teen smoking.

According to research from the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (CASA), the key to keeping kids from smoking and using drugs is dependent on the extent to which parents take a “hands-on” approach to raising their kids. The more they establish appropriate rules and standards of behavior and monitor their teens, the lower the teen’s risk of substance abuse.

A “hands-on” approach to preventing your teen from smoking, drinking or trying drugs, according to CASA, includes consistently taking 10 or more of these 12 actions:

Monitor what your teen watches on television.
Monitor what your teen does on the Internet.
Put restrictions on the music (CDs) your teen buys.
Know where your teen spends time after school and on weekends.
Expect to be told the truth by your teen about where he or she is going.
Be “very aware” of your teen’s academic performance.
Impose a curfew.
Make clear you would be “extremely upset” if your teen smoked.
Eat dinner with your teens six or seven times a week.
Turn off the television during dinner.
Assign your teen regular chores.
Have an adult present when your teen returns from school.

National Cancer Institute
American Lung Association
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University
The Lancet

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Teen Suicide - National Suicide Prevention Week

Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in older children and teens. And statistics show that suicide rates in teenagers are on the rise.

That makes it even more important for everyone to raise awareness of suicide prevention, especially now during National Suicide Prevention Week.

In addition to learning to recognize the risk factors and warning signs of suicide, spread the word about the availability of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline — 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Dr. Gary Nelson, Author of “A Relentless Hope” Surviving Teen Depression recently talked about this serious subject of teen suicide -
Learn more about Teen Suicide.

Monday, September 8, 2008

What Is ADHD? Diagnosis and Treatment Information

Source: ADDitude Magazine

An expert on ADHD and learning disabilities talks about the biology behind attention deficit disorder and why it's sometimes so difficult to diagnose and treat ADHD symptoms in children.
by Larry Silver, M.D.

In my 40 years as a child and adolescent psychiatrist, I have treated thousands of youngsters. With some children, I am able to make a quick evaluation about attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and outline a course of treatment. With others — more often than I care to admit — I have to tell parents that it's not clear what is wrong. It's not that I lack the expertise or diagnostic skills. It's just that psychiatry isn't quite as far along as other medical specialties.

A pediatrician can do a throat culture and tell at once whether a child needs an antibiotic; appropriate treatment follows the diagnosis. In contrast, psychiatrists are often required to initiate a specific treatment and worry about clarifying the diagnosis later on. As I often tell parents, we must "put out the fire and blow the smoke away" before we can figure out what started the fire.

If a child is having problems in school, he may have attention deficit disorder (ADD ADHD), but it's also possible that he has a learning disability. Or depression. Or anxiety. Sometimes what looks like ADHD is the result of family tensions.

If ADHD seems to be even a part of such a "mixed clinical picture," I typically prescribe medication. If this solves the problem, terrific. But in many cases, another intervention is needed to address persistent academic, emotional, or family problems. Only weeks or months after treatment has been initiated will the full clinical picture become clear.

I understand parents' concern about medicating their children. My clinical knowledge notwithstanding, I agonized over whether my granddaughter, who has ADHD, should be on meds. (Ultimately, we decided she should.) I have found, however, that parents often feel better about ADHD meds when they understand a bit about neurotransmitters, the remarkable compounds that govern brain function.

How neurotransmitters work
Before I tell you about these special brain chemicals, let me explain a bit about brain anatomy.

There are millions of cells, or neurons, densely packed into various regions of the brain. Each region is responsible for a particular function. Some regions interact with our outside world, interpreting vision, hearing, and other sensory inputs to help us figure out what to do and say. Other regions interact with our internal world — our body — in order to regulate the function of our organs.

For the various regions to do their jobs, they must be linked to one another with extensive "wiring." Of course, there aren't really wires in the brain. Rather, there are myriad "pathways," or neural circuits, that carry information from one brain region to another.

Information is transmitted along these pathways via the action of neurotransmitters (scientists have identified 50 different ones, and there may be as many as 200). Each neuron produces tiny quantities of a specific neurotransmitter, which is released into the microscopic space that exists between neurons (called a synapse), stimulating the next cell in the pathway — and no others.

How does a specific neurotransmitter know precisely which neuron to attach to, when there are so many other neurons nearby? Each neurotransmitter has a unique molecular structure — a "key," if you will — that is able to attach only to a neuron with the corresponding receptor site, or “lock.” When the key finds the neuron bearing the right lock, the neurotransmitter binds to and stimulates that neuron.

Read entire article here:

Saturday, September 6, 2008

'Pharm' Drugs and Teens

Street drugs, such as pot, crack, heroin, etc…. is being replaced with pharmacy drugs kids are finding at home. Parents need to take the time to see what their medicine cabinets are holding and what prescription drugs they have at home such as pain pills from ordinary root canals - as well as medications for ADD/ADHD. Here is a great article with helpful tips for parents.

Source: Connect with Kids

“Just take whatever we had you know, not really thinking about how high I was going to get or you know, how messed up.”

– ‘James’, age 21, explaining how he and friends shared drugs during his teenage years.

“We all had different prescriptions,” says 18-year-old Laura.

“You know, percocets, valium, zanex, oxycontin,” says James, 21.

“I wanted to get as loaded as I could. Didn’t care what I was taking, how much of it,” adds Laura.

James and Laura met in rehab. Both are drug addicts who used to get high at parties. Parties where everyone brought some kind of prescription drug and passed them around, often combining them with pot or alcohol.

“When I first started using and mixing drugs, I felt like a superhero, like nothing, you know, I was invincible,” says Laura.

Some kids call them ‘pharm’ parties… for ‘pharmaceutical’.

Experts say the allure is… the unknown. “What kind of new experience can I get? And very often it’s kids who are just bored of smoking pot day in and day out… cause they’ve reached a saturation point,” says Addiction Counselor Robert Margolis, Ph.D.

But experts say taking someone else’s prescription is dangerous… especially when combined with other drugs.

“There are combinations out there that if you start to mix together will create reaction in your body that by the time you know what’s happening, it’s too late,” Dr. Margolis.

“What I did notice is that I would black out a lot of nights,” says James.

Laura survived her years of drug years… but her addiction led to mood swings and depression that made her suicidal.

“Once I started getting heavily addicted, I tried overdosing several times, so I wanted to die, I didn’t want to live anymore,” she says.

“The risks are immense and the kids don’t realize that,” says Dr. Margolis, “And they’re everything from having a tremendous hangover to fatal.”

Tips for Parents
As a parent, it is important to understand that teens may be involved with legal and illegal drugs in various ways. The American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) reports that many teens begin using drugs to satisfy their curiosity, to make themselves feel good, to reduce stress, to feel grown up or to “fit in.” While it is difficult to know which teens will experiment and stop and which will develop serious problems, the National Institute of Drug Abuse says the following types of teens are at greatest risk of becoming addicted:

Those who have a family history of substance abuse
Those who are depressed
Those who have low self-esteem
Those who feel like they don’t “fit in” or are out of the mainstream
Because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration puts its seal of approval on prescription drugs, many teens mistakenly believe that using these drugs – even if they are not prescribed to them – is safe. However, this practice can, in fact, lead to addiction and severe side effects. The Center for Drug Evaluation and Research cites the following most commonly abused prescription drugs:

Opioids – Also known as narcotic analgesics, opioids are used to treat pain. Examples of this type of drug include morphine, codeine, OxyContin (oxycodone), Vicodin (hydrocodone) and Demerol (meperidine). In the short term, these drugs block pain messages and cause drowsiness. A large, single dose can cause severe respiratory depression and death. Long-term use leads to physical dependence and, in some cases, addiction.
Central nervous system (CNS) depressants – These drugs are commonly used to treat anxiety, panic attacks and sleep disorders. Examples include Nembutal (pentobarbital sodium), Valium (diazepam) and Xanax (alprazolam). CNS depressants slow down normal brain function and can cause a sleepy, uncoordinated feeling in the beginning of treatment. Long-term use can lead to physical dependence and addiction.
Stimulants – These drugs are commonly used to treat the sleeping disorder narcolepsy and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Examples include Ritalin (methylphenidate) and Dexedrine (dextroamphetamine). Stimulants, which can be addictive, enhance brain activity and increase alertness and energy. They elevate blood pressure, heart rate and respiration. Very high doses can lead to irregular heartbeat and high body temperature
How can you determine if your teen is abusing drugs? The AACAP suggests looking for the following warning signs and symptoms in your teen:

Physical – Fatigue, repeated health complaints, red and glazed eyes and a lasting cough
Emotional – Personality change, sudden mood changes, irritability, irresponsible behavior, low self-esteem, poor judgment, depression and a general lack of interest
Familial – Starting arguments, breaking rules or withdrawing from the family
School-related – Decreased interest, negative attitude, drop in grades, many absences, truancy and discipline problems
Social – having new friends who are less interested in standard home and school activities, problems with the law and changes to less conventional styles in dress and music
If you believe your teen has a problem with drug abuse, you can take several steps to get the help he or she needs. The American Academy of Family Physicians suggests contacting your health-care provider so that he or she can perform an adequate medical evaluation in order to match the right treatment or intervention program with your teen. You can also contact a support group in your community dedicated to helping families coping with addiction.

Substance abuse can be an overwhelming issue with which to deal, but it doesn’t have to be. The Partnership for a Drug-Free America offers the following strategies to put into practice so that your teen can reap the rewards of a healthy, drug-free life:

Be your teen’s greatest fan. Compliment him or her on all of his or her efforts, strength of character and individuality.
Encourage your teen to get involved in adult-supervised after-school activities. Ask him or her what types of activities he or she is interested in and contact the school principal or guidance counselor to find out what activities are available. Sometimes it takes a bit of experimenting to find out which activities your teen is best suited for, but it’s worth the effort – feeling competent makes children much less likely to use drugs.
Help your teen develop tools he can use to get out of drug-related situations. Let him or her know he or she can use you as an excuse: “My mom would kill me if I smoked marijuana!”
Get to know your teen’s friends and their parents. Set appointments for yourself to call them and check-in to make sure they share your views on alcohol, tobacco and other drugs. Steer your teen away from any friends who use drugs.
Call teens’ parents if their home is to be used for a party. Make sure that the party will be drug-free and supervised by adults.
Set curfews and enforce them. Let your teen know the consequences of breaking curfew.
Set a no-use rule for alcohol, tobacco and other drugs.
Sit down for dinner with your teen at least once a week. Use the time to talk – don’t eat in front of the television.
Get – and stay – involved in your teen’s life.

Substance Abuse & Mental Human Services Administration
Drug Abuse Warning Network
American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
National Institute on Drug Abuse
U.S. Food and Drug Administration
Center for Drug Evaluation and Research
American Academy of Family Physicians
Partnership for a Drug-Free America

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Sue Scheff presents: Becoming a part of your government and getting your teen involved

America may be the world’s most powerful democracy, but even the strongest democratic government only succeeds because of the participation of its citizens. However, the voting participation percentages of Americans are some of the worst in the world for major modern democracies. Due to this alarming fact, one of the most pressing responsibilities of good citizens is participation in the democratic process.

If you wish to become a productive citizen, Democratic participation does not end with simply voting, one must influence others to participate as well. There are many ways to get fellow community members out to the polls to vote. Luckily, the act of voting is one of the best ways to get others to vote. Leading by action is an important tool for good citizens, because we all know actions speak much louder than words.

You can also put an “I voted” sticker on your car or even offer to drive someone to a polling place to promote community voting participation. Simply sharing your knowledge about candidates, as well as times or places to vote will influence greater participation in those around you. Use this poll locator to find polling places around your area and be sure to share that knowledge.

An extremely important part of the democratic system is manning the polling places themselves. The importance of this job is extremely underrated and overlooked, but its Democratic necessity is undeniable. The poll workers help maintain the ability for everyone to have an honest and fair place to vote, which is the basic foundation of our political process. Anyone can volunteer to work at a polling place and be a part of the American political system. Working at a polling place puts you on the front lines of the government system, allowing you to become the gate keeper to American Democracy. Working at a local polling area is a classic example of productive citizenship.

Another classic and positive good citizen practice is writing letters to your regional congressional representative when you feel import issues require their attention. Often people have problems in their community but do nothing, when even one letter sent to a state or regional representative can solve the problem or at least bring attention to your community needs. A good citizen becomes a spokesperson for their community, and when problems arise they can lead the charge to solve them. Writing these letters shows other people that you are taking an active role in the government process, and this action is what good citizens stand for.
City council meetings are another great way to become involved in your community. Any member of the community can attend these meetings and have their voice heard by the local government. You can go and say whatever you want and the local government must to listen to your words.

One very simple and small key to good democratic citizenship may at first seem insignificant, but actually provides the foundation for all future political processes. When at dinner, bring up political issues and facilitate family discussions on important political matters. This will get your kids thinking about politics, so they may be more likely to talk about it a school, which will spread this idea of civic thought to other kids. Putting your family in an active and citizenship oriented mindset creates important building blocks to good citizenship because you are ensuring the growth of healthy democratic thought and deliberation to younger generations. Passing political knowledge and good citizen habits down to your children ensures that your legacy as a good citizen continues well into the future.

Learn More - Click Here.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

10 Ways You Can Help Your Child Cope With Peer Pressure

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

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Ballad of the Adopted Child by Jeanne Droullard

DOES your teen,

- always seem angry?
- have anger that turns into rage?
- show signs of depression, i.e., withdrawal, slipping grades?
- show disrespect to you or disrespect people in authority?
- self-protect by keeping people at a distance?
- lie, manipulate and steal?
- ever talk about his/her biological parents?
- want to find his/her biological parents?

DO you,

- feel comfortable about your teen's behavior?
- recognize signs of RAD (Reactive Attachment Disorder)?
- believe you must be adopted to show signs of RAD?
- understand what is meant by the Primal Wound?
- think it makes a difference at what age a child is adopted?
- understand bonding and how it can be disrupted?
- understand the fear and pain of an adoptee?
- understand adoptee' difficulty in trusting and showing love

It can be difficult to know if your adopted teen's anger is normal and within the range of typical teenage behavior. Most teenagers get angry, especially during the years when their bodies are changing and the hormones can bring quick and severe mood swings. All teenagers are searching the world trying to find out who they are and what they want to become. They all want to know how the world will affect them and how they will affect the world.

If not addressed as a child, an adopted teenager has a duality of conflicts to overcome. Whether adopted as a baby or as an older child, this teenager has had a separation from the birth mother and this is a strong link that is not forgotten. Nancy Verrier calls this the Primal Wound. In the womb, Psychologists now agree that the child is very aware of the mother, how she smells, how she laughs and feels, even how she sounds. The baby has been inside the womb for nine months. This baby even realizes if it was a wanted pregnancy or an unwanted pregnancy - this baby knows. It also has an awareness of the physical, mental and emotional connection with the mother. Bonding begins before physical birth and possibly shortly after conception. Many professionals used to laugh at this idea and thought it impossible for a little baby to know and remember being separated from its birth mother. Alas, the tide has changed and the professionals now believe that this child couldn't help but know the separation from the birth mom that carried it - and this is the primal wound that stays with that child forever.

Read entire article here: