Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Sue Scheff: We Don't Serve Teens! Teen Drinking


Did you know?

Most teens report that alcohol is easy to get – including 64 percent of eighth graders, 81 percent of sophomores, and 92 percent of seniors.

Did you know?

Since laws established 21 as the minimum drinking age, the likelihood that a 15 – to 20-year-old driver will be involved in a fatal crash has dropped by more than half.


We Don’t Serve Teens is about educating you (parents and adults) with real life stories of what can happen when adults permit teens to drink alcohol. The legal drinking age is 21 years old, there are no exceptions.

Most teens who drink get alcohol from “social sources” – at parties, from older friends, from their parents’ cabinets. Teen drinking is linked to injury and risky behavior. We can reduce teen drinking by stopping teens’ easy access to alcohol. Help us achieve this goal. – Source: We Don’t Serve Teens

As New Year’s Eve is fast approaching, be an educated parent - don’t allow teenage drinking! Teens New Year – get some tips for helping them bring in the New Year with fun and safety!

Also on Examiner.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Sue Scheff: Penguin Parenting - Is it really Black and/or White?


As we enter into 2010 parenting has taken on a whole new look, but has it really?

Years ago our parents worried about us and what our future will be. Today: That is still the same.

Years ago our parents told us we needed to finish high school and get an education. Today: That is still the same.

Years ago our parents told us someday we would understand why they wouldn't allow something. Today: That is true, as we parent our own kids and think back about how we have come full circle.

Years ago our parents said we should respect authority, always. Today: That is still the same.

Years ago our parents told us that we need to learn responsibility. Today: That is still the same.

Is parenting really black and white? If only it were that easy, however it is the same as it was years ago except:

You are reading this article online instead of picking up the paper off your front step.
You are conversing with your kids either via text or email.
You are learning about technology and how to not only keep your kids safe in general, you need to worry about what is lurking in cyberspace.

Yes, going into 2010 in the parenting world may be the same in a lot of ways, however today you have many more resources and access to become an educated parent - so those exceptions will help you learn more about what your kids are doing - both online and off!

Must read: Parenting 2010: Getting Ahead of Your Kids Virtually. (5 part series)

Subscribe to my articles to keep up to date with parenting and Internet safety articles.
Also on Examiner.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Sue Scheff: Parenting 2010 - Getting Ahead of your Teens Virtually!



T.AL.K.

I completed a 5-part series to help you better monitor your teens/kids online. Here was the final part, and I encourage you to go back and review 1-4. An educated parent will have safer teens in cyberspace!




Did you miss part 1? Part 2? Part 3? Part 4? Go back, it will help you be an educated parent for 2010 in an effort to stay ahead of your kids with today's technology.

The final part of this series is the most important. Whether you are online or offline your lines of communication with your kids, especially teens, needs to stay and remain open. As difficult as this can be in a busy world we live in, make 2010 the year you start taking time-off to be with your kids - both literally and virtually.

Part 5 - T.A.L.K.

T - Time - Take the time to talk to your kids. Learn more about where they surf online, what their social networking sites are saying and who their friends are - literally and virtually.
A - Action - Take action and be a proactive parent in what sites your kids are visiting, who they are talking to, and what they are doing - literally and virtually.
L - Learn - Educate yourself, take the time to learn about safety resources for you and your family online. An educated parent leads to safer kids and teens - both literally and virtually.
K - Keep-up - Don't stop! Keep checking in on them and their social networking sites as well as their Blogs. Keep it clean, keep it positive and keep involved!

At the end of 2010 make it your goal to be ten steps ahead of your kids technically. Talk to other parents, talk to teachers, talk to guidance counselors and most importantly talk to your kids! Communication is key to parenting. Never allow those channels, both literally and virtually, to be closed. Talk, talk, talk, and more talk…. It is the resolution all parents need to make and keep for 2010.

Reminder articles to keep your kids and teens safe while surfing! Social Web Tips for Teens, Chatroom Safety Tips, Cell Phone Safety Tips, Social Web Tips for Parents

Review:

Part 1 - Understand why it is critical to sit down with your kids and teens and review social networking sites.
Part 2 - Learn how to Blog effectively.
Part 3 - Learn how to monitor your child's name online.
Part 4 - Review books, resources and services to help you be a better parent with technology.
Part 5 - T.A.L.K. - Keep those lines of communication open! Both online and off!

Order your free cyber safety booklet through the FTC - click here.

Wishing everyone a safe and healthy New Year, both online and in real life! Surf safely!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Sue Scheff: Dysfunctional Families (Putting the "fun" in DysFUNction)


If there is anyone out there that has a "normal" family; a family that has never encountered conflict, a family that doesn't have that one relative that we can count on to bring us down, a family that is always joyful, or a family that is simply "perfect" then please share your secrets!

Dysfunctional families are more common than non-dysfunctional families in my opinion. I speak to a lot of families through my organization, and I can attest to many families that suffer from distressful situations as well as heart-wrenching pain from a loved one. Realizing we can't control others or change them is part of accepting that having a dysfunctional family can be consider normal.

During the holiday season it is time to try to put the family conflicts aside. Here are some tips that may help you have a peaceful day, even with the contention. Yes, let's try to put some fun into dysfunction.

Source: Martha Beck, Oprah.com - Sanity Saving Strategies

Strategy #1: Give Up Hope.

Before you meet your relatives this season, take a few moments to sit quietly and acknowledge what you wish they were like. Then prepare to accept them even if they behave as they have always done in the past. At best, you may be surprised to find that they actually are changing, that some of your wishes have come true. At worst, you'll feel regrettably detached from your kinfolk as you watch them play out their usual psychoses.

Strategy #2: Set Secure Boundaries Given that your family members will probably go on being their same old selves, you need to decide how much contact with them you really want. Are there certain relatives you simply can't tolerate? Are there others you can handle in group settings but not one-on-one? How much time and intimacy with your family is enough? How much is too much?

Strategy #3: Lose Control

Don't violate your own code of values and ethics, but don't waste energy trying to make other people violate theirs. If soul-searching has shown you that your mother's opinions are wrong for you-as are your grandfather's bigotry, your sister's new religion, and your cousin's alcoholism-hold that truth in your heart, whether or not your family members validate it. Feel what you feel, know what you know, and set your relatives free to do the same.

Strategy #4: Become a Participant Observer

Some social scientists use a technique called participant observation, meaning that they join groups of people in order to watch and report on whatever those people do.

Queen for a Day
Prior to a family function, arrange to meet with at least two friends-more, if possible-after the holidays. You'll each tell the stories of your respective family get-togethers, then vote to see whose experience was most horrendous. That person will then be crowned queen, and the others will buy her lunch.

Strategy #5: Debrief

Even if you don't play any participant observation games, it's crucial to follow up on family events by debriefing with someone you love. If your brother really "gets" you, call him after a family dinner you've both survived. If you don't trust anyone who shares a shred of your DNA, report to a friend or therapist. Generally speaking, you can schedule a debriefing session for a few weeks after the holidays, when everybody's schedule is back to normal. However, you should exchange phone calls with your debriefing partners within a day or so of the family encounter, just to reconnect with the outside world and head off any annoying little problems, such as ill-considered suicide.

Let's try to have a peaceful and calm holiday season.....

Beating the Holiday Blues



Also on Examiner.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Sue Scheff: SEXTING - What Parents Need to Know


Parenting resolutions are ones that you can't afford to ignore or neglect after a few weeks. One of 2009's hot and trendy topics is "sexting." What is sexting? It is the act of sending sexually explicit messages or photos electronically, primarily between cell phones.

We don't need more reminders of what sexting can cause emotionally to students. In Florida we had the sad story of cyber tragedy that ended in the suicide of 13 year-old Hope Witsell.

Here are some tips and what parents need to know and use now and in 2010. (Source: Saratoga County District Attorney James Murphy):

Set time of day limits on cell phone usage: While many parents have a hard time regulating the number of texts per month and have surrendered to "unlimited texting", you can control the hours that your teen texts. We suggest determining a time when cell phones come of the pocket or out of the bedroom and are placed in a central location on a charger along with your cell phone. Kids who are permitted to keep their cell phones in their room overnight on average get less sleep and are often times texting in the middle of the night. Make the right choice in allowing your teen to obtain uninterrupted sleep by limiting the hours that they have phone access and set rules on when texting is appropriate.

Take laptops out of your child's bedroom: While computers and the Internet provide wonderful educational opportunities and help teens study, they also can provide 24 hour access to social networking sites, instant messaging and email at times when children are not supervised. By removing computers from the teen's bedroom and placing them in a central location, like a family room or kitchen, teens are less likely to have inappropriate contact through the computer and are more likely to notify a parent about an unusual or disturbing message.

Keep computers and laptops in a common area: Studies have shown that teenagers are less likely to engage in risky behavior if they are accessing the Internet in a common room or area where others are likely to be present. This is even true if no one is standing over their shoulder. Just the fact that you can glance at what is on the screen is enough to make kids think twice before going to inappropriate Internet sites or having conversations with individuals who they may not know. Keeping the computer in a common area can only help your child make safe decisions.

Know your child's username and password: While some parents and most all kids groan at the idea of allowing you access to their social networking page, email account or instant messaging, it really is important. The fact that you have access to the information, despite the fact that you may never actually look, protects kids from making bad choices. What's more, in the unlikely event that something should happen to your child, rather than wasting valuable time while law enforcement obtains subpoenas or search warrants, you can quickly access your child's personal Internet conversations and contacts in a matter of seconds. In nearly all cases, once law enforcement is given the access to the on line material, a missing child has been returned or someone who is targeting your child has been apprehended. It's a small piece of information that can have remarkable results if necessary.

Talk to your child about cyberbullying: Today's bullies are no longer the stereotypical "tough kid" in school, but can often times be a physical small child or a straight "A" student. Cyberbullying can happen around the clock due to Internet and cell phone access, which makes your home no longer "safe" from the bully. With 24-hour access to technology, bullying can continue no matter where the victim goes. Talk to your child about bullying and being bullied. If you feel your child is the target of cyberbullying notify law enforcement immediately.

Be sure to read the Five-Part series of Parenting in 2010 and how you can become better in tune with your kids technically ending with T.A.L.K.

Reminder: 2009 Parenting Tips Wrap-up - Continue to keep those lines of communication open.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Sue Scheff: Parenting Resolutions You Can Learn From


Big Book of Parenting Solutions, by Dr. Michele Borba is more than just a parenting book. It offers sound advice, proven results, in depth research with statistics to substantiate the solutions. Check out the inside SLIDESHOW of informational pages, click here. Be sure to watch the video below - you will meet Michele Borba and find out why this book is the answer to keeping your parenting resolutions - all in one concise book.

Michele Borba Has Answers to Parents Everyday Challenges & Worries


101 topics the author of The Big Book of Parenting Solutions can address



CHARACTER
26. Bad Manners
27. Cheats
28. Insensitive
29. Intolerant
30. Lying
31. Materialistic
32. Not Knowing Right from Wrong
33. Poor Sport
34. Selfish and Spoiled
35. Steals
36. Ungrateful

EMOTIONS

37. Angry
38. Dependent
39. Fearful
40. Grief
41. Homesick
42. Perfectionist
43. Pessimistic
44. Sensitive
45. Shy
46. Separation Anxiety
47. Stressed
48. Worried About the World

Next we will get into the Social Scene, you won't want to miss this. Coming soon.

<<<<Did you miss the first 25 reasons to for parenting resolutions? Go back.


Resolution Reminder: Parenting 2010 - Getting ten steps ahead of your kids with technology.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Sue Scheff: Hate crimes up



It is disturbing just reading this title yet important to read the article.  Parents need to take time to be informed and know if their kids are being taunted or if they fear for any reason.  It is important to keep your lines of communication open before your child escalates to anger and rage. 

Source: Connect with Kids

Hate Crimes Up
“I'm scared that I go to a Jewish school that's so public that someone could just ... come in and put a bomb in it or start a fire, just 'cause it's a Jewish school that's filled with Jewish people.”

– Debbie, 12 years old

The F.B.I. has released new data showing that hate crimes were up last year. Crimes based on religious preference were up nine percent, crimes against black people went up eight percent, and crimes based on sexual orientation are up three percent.

Sometimes kids are the victims or fear they will be. "I'm scared that I go to a Jewish school that's so public that someone could just, well, they have like video cameras and everything but, just come in and put a bomb in it or start a fire, just 'cause it's a Jewish school that's filled with Jewish people," says 12-year-old Debbie.

Kids can get hurt because of their race, religion or sexual preference. So what can parents do?

Psychologist, Dr. Stephen Thomas says, "I think the most important thing parents can do is to listen, is to listen to their kids, even when they're in pain. And to help them understand that sometimes that pain and anger is part of life."

Psychologists say that kind of communication is crucial, because often victims get angry.

"Some kids don't know that what they're feeling is anger. No one has taught them that this feeling that you have, you're heart racing, you want to lash out... that's anger, they don't know that... they don't know that," says Thomas.

And when kids cannot identify and deal with those kinds of emotions they are more likely to become hateful themselves.

"I could understand if everyone around you is showing you hatred you know," says 18-year-old Brian, "you're gonna show them hatred, that's what I... if everyone did that to me I might feel like killing somebody one day."

The Internet has opened the door to a wealth of information at our fingertips. But it has also brought instant accessibility to illegal drugs, pornography, hate websites and more. It's important to set guidelines regarding your child's Internet usage. Consider these important steps from the University of Oklahoma police department:

■Learn about the Internet – If you are just starting out, see what information and classes are offered by your local library, community center, schools or newspaper.
■Get Involved – Spend time online with your child -- at home, at the library or at a computer center in your community. Your involvement in your child's life includes his/her online life. Your participation and guidance is important to help ensure your child's Internet safety.
■Stay Informed – Learn about the latest parental control tools that can help you keep your child safe online. Stay abreast of what's in the news about kids and web sites.
■Become an Advocate for Kids – If you see online material or practices you do not like, contact your Internet Service Provider (the company that provides you with a connection to the Internet) or the company that created the material. Take advantage of this unique opportunity to help this growing medium develop in positive ways for kids.

Tips for Parents

According to SafeKids.com, there are steps you can take to help prevent your child from seeing inappropriate content on the Internet. Consider the following suggestions:

■In an online public area such as a chat room or bulletin board, never give out identifying information, including name, home address, school name or telephone number.
■In an email, do not give out identifying information unless you are certain you are giving it to someone both you and your child know and trust. Think carefully before revealing any personal information such as age, marital status or financial information. Consider using a pseudonym or unlisting your child's name if your service allows it.
■Get to know the sites and services your child uses. If you don't know how to log on, have your child show you. Find out what types of information the services and websites offer, how trustworthy the information is and if parents can block objectionable material.
■Never allow a child to arrange a face-to-face meeting with another computer user without parental permission.
■Never respond to messages or bulletin board items that are suggestive, obscene, belligerent, threatening or make you feel uncomfortable. Encourage your children to tell you if they encounter such messages. If you or your child receives a message that is harassing or threatening, forward a copy of the message to your service provider and ask for their assistance.
■Remember that people online may not be who they seem. Because you can't see or even hear people over the Internet, it is easy for them to misrepresent themselves. For example, someone who says he/she is an expert in a certain field may actually be a biased individual with an agenda or someone with harmful intentions.
■Not everything you read online is true. Be wary of any offers that require you to come to a meeting or have someone visit your house. Also, research several different sources of information before referring to something you read on the Internet as "fact."
■Set reasonable rules and guidelines for computer use. Discuss these rules and post them near the computer as a reminder. Remember to monitor your kids' compliance with these rules, especially when it comes to the amount of time your children spend on the computer. A child's or teenager's excessive use of online services or bulletin boards, especially late at night, may indicate a potential problem. Remember that personal computers and online services should not be used as electronic babysitters.
■Make computers a family activity. Consider keeping the computer in a family room rather than the child's bedroom. Get to know your children's "online friends" just as you do their other friends.

References
■Federal Bureau of Investigation
■National Center for Health Statistics
■SafeKids.com
■Smart Parent
■The Police Notebook
■The University of Illinois

Friday, December 18, 2009

Sue Scheff: Teens Dropping out of School


On a weekly basis parents call in a panic - their teens want to drop out of school!  What happen to the old days, when finishing High School was not an option?  It was deciding what to do in college that was the big question.  Today some teens seem to have a sense of entitlement, that they don't need school and some even think they don't need us (parents)!  Parenting teens today has never been more challenging.  Here are some parenting tips and an article what the cost of a drop out can be.

Source: Connect with Kids

The Cost of Drop Outs

“I fell into the wrong group of people and then my grades started to go down and I started not doing things that people should be doing.”

– Robin, 15 years old

When a child drops out of school, it's expensive for all of us. According to a new study, 600,000 kids dropped out in 2008. If they had stayed in school and graduated, they would have generated over 1 billion dollars in state and local taxes in just one year of their working lives.

Robin was in a regular high school when her focus shifted from grades to friends.

"I fell into the wrong group of people," she says, "and then my grades started to go down and I started not doing things that people should be doing."

It's a downward spiral that can lead to low self-esteem and a feeling of failure.

For some kids, the quicker they can find an alternative to conventional high school the better. But many parents don't see it that way.

"The parents are to me the last ones to want to give in to it," explains counselor Kevin Moore. "They don't see, they see themselves as a failure ... 'I mean, the neighbors! He doesn't even go to high school, he dropped out, he didn't drop out, he moved on'."

But Robin's parents helped her go to an alternative school with smaller classes and her grades have never been better. "I have like all A's and B's now and I've never had A's and B's ever," she says.

Experts say if a child's pattern of falling grades and trouble in school lasts more than 10 months, parents should start looking for options, and allow the child to be part of the decision making. Whether it's an alternative school like the one Robin's enrolled in, or schooling at home or over the internet, or private school- it's critical to break the cycle of failure quickly and replace it with a cycle of success.

"That success will remind them that they're successful at it, if you've completed a program outside, the independent, the G.E.D., home stay... whatever it is, there's success. If you can have success academically, you can move forward," says Moore.

Most parents expect that their children will succeed as students just as they expect to succeed as parents. When a child does not perform to their potential, a parent is often confused, disappointed, angry and afraid. Whether the lack of success is academic skills, social behavior or both, the recognition that a youngster is not doing well can cause pain.

The problem of underachievement can be difficult to define and often has different meanings to professionals in different occupations. This is one of the many reasons underachieving children often do not receive the help they need. Underachievement is commonly used as an umbrella term to describe anyone who is not performing in a particular activity as well as someone who knows that activity well and thinks they should. Usually the term refers to lack of academic success; however adults who choose jobs that do not reflect the degrees they hold or athletes who fail to perform to their potential could also be referred to as underachievers.

Tips for Parents
There is perhaps no situation more frustrating for parents or teachers than living or working with children who do not perform as well academically as their potential indicates they can. These children are labeled as underachievers, yet few people agree on exactly what this term means. At what point does underachievement end and achievement begin? Is a gifted student who is failing mathematics while doing superior work in reading an underachiever? Certainly, the phenomenon of underachievement is as complex and multifaceted as the children to whom this label has been applied.

Experts offer this advice for parents looking to reverse the patterns of underachieving behaviors in students.

■Supportive Strategies. Classroom techniques and designs that allow students to feel they are part of a "family" rather than a "factory." An adult should try to include methods such as holding class meetings to discuss student concerns; designing curriculum activities based on the needs and interests of the children; and allowing students to bypass assignments on subjects in which they have previously shown competency.
■Intrinsic Strategies. These strategies incorporate the idea that student's self-concepts as learners are tied closely to their desire to achieve academically. Thus, a classroom that invites positive attitudes is likely to encourage achievement. In classrooms of this type, teachers encourage attempts, not just successes; they value student input in creating classroom rules and responsibilities; and they allow students to evaluate their own work before receiving a grade from the teacher.
■Remedial Strategies. Teachers who are effective in reversing underachieving behaviors recognize that students are not perfect – that each child has specific strengths and weaknesses as well as social, emotional and intellectual needs. With remedial strategies, students are given chances to excel in their areas of strength and interest while opportunities are provided in specific areas of learning deficiencies. This remediation is done in a "safe environment in which mistakes are considered a part of learning for everyone, including the teacher."

References
■Education Trust
■ERIC- Education Resources Information Center
■U.S. Department of Education

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Sue Scheff: Troubled Teens Volunteering - Building Self Confidence Through Helping Others


As a Parent Advocate and Founder of Parents Universal Resource Experts, this recent article from Connect with Kids is about what we deal with on a daily basis. We constantly encourage parents to get their teens involved in giving back – volunteering and simply building their self worth through time spent helping others. Especially with the upcoming school break, encourage your kids to get involved. Click here for some great ideas to do as a family.

Helping others helps these teens understand how important they are.

Source: Connect with Kids

Troubled Teens Volunteer

“You get to see how they’re reacting, how they feel and how much they enjoy what you are doing for them.”

– Jana, 20, food pantry volunteer

This is the season of sharing and caring about others. And no one does that more than American teenagers. According to the latest Harris Poll 56 percent of teens are out in their communities volunteering and some of them are the most unlikely of teens.

For bad grades, for fighting or for using alcohol or drugs – these teens have all been kicked out of school and sent to volunteer at this food pantry.

Nearly all say they thought they’d hate it. “And it’s actually, really, really fun,” 16-year-old Lashika says.

“It makes me feel like I’m doing something important with my time,” 20-year-old Jana agrees. “That I’m helping other people out and that they’re getting what they need.”

And that’s the point, the experts say. Helping others helps these teens understand how important they are.

“I mean, we’ve had people who come in here, and they literally are crying. You know, ‘thank you so much,’ and hugging these kids’ necks,” says Deborah Swank, executive director of Hearts to Nourish Hope. “It makes a big difference, and it makes them see themselves differently – ‘Well, you know if I could do this, maybe I can do something else.’ If these troubled teens get so much out of giving, maybe other teens can, too. The first thing they have to learn is what a lot of people say but not many believe: Each one of us can make a difference.

“It’s an overwhelming problem – what can one person do, what can my child do – and it’s important to teach them that there are ways that one person can make a difference,” Swank says.

“It makes you happier. You know, helping people out brings something out in you that you usually wouldn’t feel,” 15-year-old Tristan says.

“If a child lives with sharing,” Dorothy Law Nolte writes, “[he or she] learns about generosity.” Research shows parents can do a better job when it comes to teaching their children about kindness, generosity and caring for others.


Tips for Parents
What can be done to help improve the ethics of children and to make them more thoughtful and generous? The National Network for Child Care says responsive parents and teachers “can lead children away from materialism.” The following suggestions will help strengthen children’s self-esteem and sharing abilities:

Model sharing and giving: Your kindness and willingness to share with your children encourages them to do the same.
Recognize children’s spontaneous gestures of sharing: Emphasize the results of their kindness to others.
Recognize the many ways children share: They may invite someone to join them in playing with a toy they with which they are already playing. They may loan a child something. Or they may give something permanently to another child, like a cookie.
Help children develop a healthy sense of ownership, and give them opportunities to share special belongings: Encourage children to talk about how the belongings are used and enjoyed.
Give children the choice to share or be generous: “Forced” sharing and generosity can build an atmosphere of resentment. When forced to share, it is less likely that children will offer kindness on their own.
Remember that children’s attitudes often reflect the teachings of their parents.

Put It in Writing

For older children, the Chicago Public Schools system suggests asking the following questions and having them respond by writing in a journal:

How do you show kindness?
What is the kindest thing you have ever done?
What was the kindest thing that someone did for you?
In what ways or in which aspects of your life would you like people to treat you with more kindness?
What could you do to become a kinder person?
How do you show generosity?
What was the most generous act that someone did for you?
How are people generous in ways that do not involve money?
What do you do to help others?
In what important ways do other people help you?

References
Chicago Public Schools
Josephson Institute of Ethics
National Center for Policy Analysis
National Network for Child Care

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Sue Scheff: What are your teens during school break?


School will be out for the holidays and there will be a lot of idle time for teens. Do you know have plans for them? At this time of the year, as well as at spring break, I hear from many parents that are struggling with their good teens making not so good choices. By the time they call Parents' Universal Resource Experts, it has usually escalated to a decision many parents don't want to make. Should they consider a residential therapy school?


Before it reaches the point of having to make a call for help, let's look at some options you can encourage your teens to do to keep constructively busy during their holiday time-off. Hanging out is not always a bad thing, however it can be when it leads to negative activity and behavior.

Having this time-out can is also an opportunity to do things as a family. Spending more time together helps open up the lines of communication.

1. Let's see what movies are playing. The kids love to hang at theaters, but try to find movies you all can see and make it a family event! Right now there are many movies playing that the entire family can enjoy such as Blind Side, Nine, Meet the Morgan's, Invictus (for teens and parents) and of course the upcoming blockbuster - Avartar. Remember, students can get discount tickets at most theaters. The most important part of this activity is you are doing it together!

2. Volunteering at a local Nursing Home, Humane Society, Soup Kitchen etc. This is a fantastic way to help your teens feel needed and give back. Take the initiative and visit these places and get your teen excited about giving back.

3. Reach out to neighbors that may need your help. Encourage your teens to meet the neighbors, wash cars, mow the lawn (we are in Florida), shovel snow (for those Northerners), walk their dogs or even just spend some time with them. Maybe they need help wrapping gifts. It is a perfect time to reach out and give from your heart.

4. Do you know how many teens actually love culinary arts? Yes, encourage your teen to find new recipes and learn to cook dinner for the family. This can also be a family affair. Take the challenge with new recipes. Who knows, you may have the next Top Chef in your home!

For more ideas including T.A.L.K. >>>>> CLICK HERE

Monday, December 14, 2009

Sue Scheff: Parenting 2010 (part 1)


Part 1 of a 5 part series for a "virtual make-over" in 2010!


As quickly as the holiday's have come upon us, New Year's is literally weeks away. What will your resolution be as a parent?

Parenting teens today is extremely challenging. With all the technology, cell phones, i-Phones, i-Pods, and much more, how can parents keep up?

As many times as we hear we need to be ten steps ahead of our kids technically, it seems almost impossible.


Here is part one of a five part series. As a parent you need to consider this New Year's resolution and take the time to make a difference in your child's life - technically speaking right now.

"Time" is the key word, and you never know what you will learn from your child in this process. This is a resolution every parent needs to consider, and honestly can't afford to ignore in today's hi-tech society.

Part 1 - Sit down with your child, and especially those with teens, and review each others social networking sites. Is there questionable photo's there? Are there words that are less than appropriate? Are there friends that may not be the best to associate with?

Explain why the photo's are not appropriate.

Talk to your child about why certain language is questionable and people may see you in a false light.

Give examples why a certain person may not be the best to associate with.

Children and teens need to understand what the post today can haunt them tomorrow. Teens need to understand the consequences of college recruiters that will Google you and may exclude you from consideration due to a questionable online presence. Children need to understand that they are vulnerable to Internet Predators and how to block contact from potential monsters that lurk online.

Part 2 - New Year's Resolution for parents: Create a family Blog for you and your teens.

Part 3 - Learn to monitor your children and teens online.

Parts 4 and 5 coming soon!

References for parents to review: Social Web Tips for Teens, Chatroom Safety Tips, Cell Phone Safety Tips, Social Web Tips for Parents

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Friday, December 11, 2009

Sue Scheff: Mother Daughter Conflict


Well, not sure I should comment or let this speak for itself. I think all mothers and daughters go through what we can call challenging times. The good news is usually we all recover from them. The bad news is with the stress of the holidays it can sometimes become more heated. Connect with Kids just posted an article with some great tips and information about dealing with our daughters and the conflicts we do and will face.

Source: Connect with Kids

Mother Daughter Conflict

“A lot of it that has to do with, ‘Do I want to be like her or how can I be different and do I want to be different?’”

– Judy Greenberg, licensed clinical social worker

The holidays aren’t all pretty music, sparkling lights and beautifully wrapped gifts. When families spend a lot of time together, there can be conflict and often it’s between two people who one day will be the best of friends.

Lauren and her mother had a good relationship, until she turned 13. “We fought all the time,” Lauren remembers. “And it was usually screaming, yelling, drag-out fights,” echoes Lauren’s mother Terri Breach.

There was less conversation between the two and less time together. Lauren wanted more control over her life. Her mother didn’t want to give it up. “All of a sudden I felt like I just didn’t want to be with her anymore,” says Lauren. “I wanted to be with my friends. I wanted to do things on my own.”

“Which was hard,” says Breach. “It was very hard for me because I was like, ‘Wait, I’m still here.’”

“There’s a degree of loss there, and moms have to prepare themselves for that,” says Judy Greenberg, a licensed clinical social worker.

Experts say conflict between mothers and daughters typically starts during early adolescence when girls begin to search for their own identity apart from their parents – especially their mom. “A lot of it that has to do with, ‘Do I want to be like her or how can I be different and do I want to be different’?” explains Greenberg. When daughters break away, she says, sometimes it hurts.

“It was very hard for me because I still wanted her to be my little girl,” says Breach.

But experts say it’s really not personal. It is a normal part of development and what is needed is an extra dose of love and patience. That’s what worked for Lauren and her mother. They are once again close to each other.

“Part of it,” says Lauren, now 17, “is that I aged and matured. I’m not a junior high kid anymore. I’m a senior in high school, and so I can understand where my mom’s coming from now. And I feel like I enjoy her company more now.”

For Lauren’s mother, the key was letting go of her little girl and embracing her emerging young adult. “She is an incredible, beautiful young woman, and I couldn’t ask for a better daughter.”

Many mothers fear a daughter’s adolescent years. The mother-daughter relationship comprises conflicting feelings: love, anger, worry, resentment, envy and need. Its dynamics change as each female ages.
When daughters become young adults, the focus of the mother-daughter relationship is the daughter’s efforts to become an adult. While this is rewarding for the mother, it is also a significant expenditure of time and energy that focuses on one person — the daughter.

Research shows significant variations in mother-daughter relationships exist between ethnic groups. Euro-American women want to do fun activities with their mothers but also want to maintain certain boundaries. Asian-Indian and African-American women generally turn to their mothers for support, wisdom and advice. Hispanic women tend to want to be dutiful daughters and help their mothers.

The once-prominent fear of growing up to be like one’s mother is termed “matrophobia.” Today’s mothers and daughters are changing. As daughters hit their 20s and 30s, many, if not most, mothers and daughters admire and agree with each other. In addition:

Past literature shows that the mother-daughter relationship is considered the most significant of all intergenerational relationships.

The teen years are difficult for a mother because her daughter is basically a child in a very adult body.
Conflict arises in even the best relationships because both mother and daughter care greatly for one another.
Estrangement between a mother and a daughter is a combination of individual, familial and societal factors.
The reasons why mothers and daughters become estranged can be varied and complex.
Celebrities such as Jennifer Aniston, Drew Barrymore and Meg Ryan have had well-publicized, toxic relationships with their mothers for a variety of reasons beyond fame and fortune.

There are several reasons why mothers and daughters undergo conflict during adolescence. The most common are:

As the emotional caretakers of the family, mothers often feel responsible for ensuring each child survives and even thrives during adolescence.

As daughters are blossoming into shapely young women, their mothers are often in or approaching midlife. Mothers may find it difficult to live with adolescent daughters who remind them of their ever-diminishing youth.

A daughter’s effort to develop her own individuality motivates her to examine her mother’s every action. Mothers typically describe feeling scrutinized by their teens.
In general, women find handling conflict and anger to be difficult.

Tips for Parents

Society expects women to be good mothers and holds them responsible, more so than fathers, for good parenting. Often, those who fail might be deemed “bad women.”

As hard as it is for most, an important part of parenting is letting go. The best gift a mother can give a daughter — and in turn, as she becomes an adult, that a daughter can give her mother — is permission to be herself. For a mother self-awareness is important, as is not placing undue emphasis, worry and concern on how her daughter turns out.

Even if you had a great rivalry with your mother, it doesn’t mean the pattern must continue with your daughter.

Realize that all relationships have downsides. A mother and daughter should focus on the positive aspects of their relationship.

Invest time and energy in your relationship.

Begin to give your daughter the tools to make her own decisions when she’s young.

Enter your child’s world: Listen to her music, even if you hate it. Take a genuine interest in her motivations.

Participate in activities together, and be sure some are what she likes, even if it’s something you don’t normally do.

Start mother-daughter traditions — it’s never too late to begin new ones — and make a promise to keep the traditions alive year after year.

Trust and communication are key aspects of your relationship. Adult daughters reported that they wanted respect and trust in their relationship with their mothers.

For minor conflicts, daughters should try to understand the life circumstances, challenges and choices of their mothers.

When necessary, remind your daughter you are the parent.

Join a women’s group or look into family therapy together to help resolve serious long-standing problems.

References
Discovery Health
iParenting.com
Mayo Clinic
Pioneer Thinking

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Sue Scheff: Just Say No to Bullying - 9 year old on a mission!


When people hear the word inspiration you automatically know you are on a positive road and about to be uplifted! One of my earlier articles was about Teens that Inspire, and through that I was introduced to a now 9 year old inspirational young boy, Jaylen Arnold.


Jaylen Arnold, a Florida resident, radiates inspiration and continues to help others as well as educate kids and parents alike about one of our country's most disturbing growing trends - bullying.

Recently Jaylen took time out of his busy schedule to answer some questions about his crusade and his mission to help millions of children. Don't forget to watch his PSA at the end of this article.

Part 1:

1.Why and when did you create http://www.jaylenschallenge.org/  ?

My website was created in May of this year. I created it because I wanted to find a way to help kids that were still getting bullied.

2. Tell us a bit about Tourette's Syndrome? When were you diagnosed with Tourette's?

I was diagnosed with TS at 3 years old. Tourette Syndrome is this little thingy in your brain that makes your body do tics(move and make noises) when you don't want it to. You can control your body, my body controls me.

3. Many parents are exhausted of hearing labels; however you are a shining example of perseverance. You reference yourself as an "alphabet" kid - explain that to us?

Well, that's because I have Tourette Syndrome, Asperger's, and Obsessive Compulsive. When you have a disability, the doctor's always write it by your name and they abbreviate it to make it easier. So I have TS (Tourette), ASP (Asperger's), and OCD (obsessive compulsive) which is a lot of letters of the alphabet!


4.You are determined to be a voice to fight bullying (which I may say you are definitely a voice to be heard). Explain to us how bullying has effected you and how you are helping others learn how to prevent bullying.

When I was copied and laughed at for my tics, it made my Tourette's much worse because it stressed me and then my Asperger's was getting all overworked because Aspergers is part of Autism and I was a real mess. My mom took me out of school for a little while and then put me back to my old school where I wasn't made fun of. I'm teaching kids about bullying because when I went back to the school that made fun of me later and told them about my problems, the kids listened and they said they were sorry. So I just thought and talked to my mom and said "this is easy, someone just needs to tell all these bad kids". I had seen kids get physically bullied at that school when I went there.

5. You mentioned that public school was difficult for you. Do you feel that we need more education and awareness about bullying in public schools and how to you think we can do this?

ABSOLUTELY!!! Just call my mom or email us through my website. We will COME to your school and teach your kids about bullying and why you shouldn't do it! Or if mom won't let me come that far, they will send you all the stuff and we tell you how to do it with the whole school.

Click here for part 2.

Watch his 60 second PSA - learn more about Jaylen Arnold!

Also on Examiner.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Sue Scheff: Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving


What an important message for this time of the year, and truly, all year round. Take the time to be an educated parent, have safer teens and potentially save a life.

Did you know that in 2008, nearly 12,000 drivers or motorcycle riders died in alcohol-related crashes?

That's one person every 40 minutes. Many people are under the misconception that you would have to be "falling down drunk" to be too impaired to drive safely. That couldn't be further from the truth. Last year alone, during the winter holiday season, 420 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes. You can't help but wonder if those lives could have been saved if people thought twice before getting behind the wheel.

With the holidays approaching, it's important that drivers be reminded about the dangers of buzzed driving. Who knows, it could save a life.The National Highway Safety and Traffic Association (NHTSA) and the Ad Council are continuing their efforts with their PSA campaign called "Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving."

The buzzed driver is one who drinks and drives, but does not consider himself a hazard on the roadway because "only a few" drinks are consumed. The campaign hopes to educate people that consuming even a few drinks can impair driving and that "Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving."During the holiday season help keep "buzzed" drivers off the road. Learn about the dangers of buzzed driving, share a story or experience you might have had with buzzed driving and follow them on Twitter @BuzzedDriving and Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/buzzeddrivingisdrunkdriving ) to get the latest updates and news from NHTSA.You can also visit the website (http://buzzeddriving.adcouncil.org/ ) where readers can sign a pledge not to drive buzzed, play an interactive game to help them understand how drinking can impair driving, and hear personal stories from people who have driven buzzed.

Watch the 30 second video here.Be an educated parent - have a safer teen and holiday season.

Reminder: Holiday Safety Tips
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Saturday, December 5, 2009

Sue Scheff: What Makes Teens Happy?

Recently I did a sneak peek series on Dr. Michele Borba’s BIG Book of Parenting Solutions. One of the best parts about this massive book (cookbook style) is how it come completely indexed for you - go straight to the subject matter you are interested in at that moment. Let's face it, you aren't going to deal with all things at once. With BIG Book of Parenting Solutions it is quick, easy and resourceful to use!
Check your holiday list, I am confident there is someone that can benefit from this book, or treat yourself!

Michele Borba just posted her own sneak peek on what makes teens happy on her Reality Check Blog.

Take a moment to become an educated parent, and remember, BIG Book of Parenting Solutions is a book every parent needs to own. There isn’t a topic that is missed when raising kids today. If you missed my Sneak Peek Series on Examiner, click here. I also take you inside this book in a unique slide show!

****************************


If you haven’t heard the news this should make you and every other parent smile. (And it’s about time). A seven-month study conducted by MTV and Associated Press interviewed nearly 1,300 young people aged 13 to 24 years old. The results revealed that the majority of teens find the most happiness in their family and listed their parents as their heroes. And—(it gets even better)—most young people (over three-quarters!) said being with their parents brought them even more joy than being with their friends. What’s more, half say religion and spirituality are very important. Wow! Right?

This is great news. They like us. They really like us! Though this survey is not new (I reported it on the TODAY show several months back) I fear most parents have not heard the results. At a time when we usually hear the doom and gloom stuff about American teens, these results couldn’t be better and need to be reviewed.

What makes our teens happy and key parent take-aways

Here are key findings in the survey that I think all parents need to hear. I’ve included the good along with the bad news about what is really on the minds of our young people today. I’m also including a few parenting suggestions I shared on the TODAY show when I reported the survey results.

1. Stay involved in your teen’s life. Not only did the teens say they like us, but they also want us in their lives. Wow! Word of warning: don’t wait for a personalized invitation from your teen. “Yo, Mom, lets go have a great talk about our family values.” The trick is that we parents still need to be a bit crafty and find ways to stay involved in our kids’ lives without invading their space. They do want privacy. They do want time with their peers.

2. Find ways to get into your kid’s zone. Utalize the time your son or daughter is most receptive to talking and then be available. (Forget the first few hours in the morning. I swear teens are on a different time zone and don’t wake up until at least noon. Bless their teachers). I finally discovered with one son the best time was five o’clock in the afternoon—and always near the refrigerator. And that’s where I’d plant myself.

3. Watch out for those judgments and criticisms. Nothing turns a teen off faster. In fact, listen twice as much as you talk. And don’t push for a response. Wait. Research shows teens are processing and sometimes those words take a little longer to come out.

4. Finally, find “common connectors.” What are things you and your teen could enjoy doing together? Is it going to be basketball game, yoga, a book club, exercising, watching Friends reruns, shopping. Find one common connector so you can stay involved together.

5. Tune up your behavior. The MTV survey also revealed that teens put us as their top hero and role model. Such power! Such influence! It also means our kids are copying our behavior. A word to the wise: Model what you want your kids to copy. Ask yourself every night one question: “If my teen had only my behavior to watch, what would he have caught today?” How are you doing? I swear kids come with videocam recorders planted inside their heads. They are watching us.

6. Tune into money matters. Surprisingly, only one percent of teens listed money as the thing that would make them happiest. That one shocked me a bit because the research I read always stresses the materialistic nature of our teens. The good news is that teens are choosing relationships over money to bring them joy. Yes! Research confirms that relationships are the single greatest source of happiness.

On the other hand, 70 percent of teens still want to be rich in the future; 29 percent want to be famous. Nothing shocking there. After all, this is the “American Idol Generation.” Though the results may sound like a contradiction, the reality is teens (and mostly males) are concerned about their future. They say they are worried about money matters. It’s interesting to note that young people with highest-income families seem happier with life overall (hmmm) and middle income kids feel the most financial pressure. I don’t blame them. It’s tough out there.

7. Watch out for stress and pressure. This was the big red flag. Thirty-eight percent of teens said they feel stressed frequently; 47 percent said they felt somewhat stressed. The biggest stressor for teens was school. This result confirms every other study I’ve read. Our kids are stressed and stress is mounting. And why not? This is an era of “Leave no child left untested.”

A word to the wise: keep an eye on your child. Watch those stress signs. Watch his workload and her non-stop schedule. How does your child handle stress? What things exacerbate it? How well does your child cope with pressure? What can you do to reduce that stress? Those are the big questions today’s parents should tune into. Also: what tools and strategies have you taught your child to handle stress? The key parent question is always: “Does the stress stimulate or paralyze my teen?” The answer tells you what direction you need to take for your child’s health and happiness.

8. Beware of that scary world. Safety did not rate very high among our kids. Only 29 percent of those polled felt very safe when traveling. Only 25 percent felt safe from terror attacks. The truth is it’s a scary world to be growing up in. The tragic images and horrific experiences our young people have been exposed to in their short years are heart wrenching: Columbine. 9-11. Virginia Tech. Oklahoma Bombings. Global warming. The treat of a nuclear holocaust (the headlines in my newspaper today).

Though we can’t prevent tragedies from occurring, we can help our children see the good parts about the world and people. Expose your teen to goodness. Clip out those articles about the wonderful, caring things people do. They’re always those articles tucked away in the back pages of the paper. Many parents cut them out and use them each night as “Good News Reports.” I love the idea. Our children deserve to hear the better parts of life.
For the most part the MTV/AP survey of our teens revealed promising, hopeful findings. What could be better than knowing our kids love us and want to be with us and that their families bring them the most joy? That alone is grounds for celebrating. After all, the single greatest determiner in how our kids turn out is the strength of their relationship with their parents. We’re doing something right. Our Reality Check: Let’s just make sure we keep an eye on the stress and pressure plaguing today’s teens.

For specific solutions on how to boost communication skills, talk about drinking and sex with kids, curb the growing up too fast (and too sexy, too soon look) refer to Michele's book, The Big Book of Parenting Solutions. Many of these activities are from that book.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Sue Scheff: Cyber tragedy - Teen Suicide


Another teen tragedy that involves sexting, bullying and the horrific end to a young beautiful life.

According to the St. Petersburg Times, 13 year old Hope Witsell was a typical teen however suffering from inner turmoil that lead to the end of her life. Hope was taunted by ugly and harassing insults which resulted from a nude photo of herself that was spread via text also known as 'sexting'. Although meant for her boyfriend only, this photo soon went viral and school officials suspended her. She was convinced that tons of people secretly hated her according to her journal.

The St. Petersburg Times also noted: A 2009 Harris online poll shows that one in five teens admits to having sent naked pictures of themselves or others over a cell phone. But even that number may be low.

This is another horrific story that we can learn from. The question is, why is it taking these tragedies to wake us up? Here are some tips to help you help your child/teen with online and cell phone safety. Please know that Love Our Children USA and STOMP Out Bullying is also available for more critical information to keep your children safe.

Parents, TALK to your kids! There has never been a more urgent time to open up those lines of communications with your kids and teens.

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Also on Examiner.com

Monday, November 30, 2009

Sue Scheff: Priceless Holiday Gifts


Did you take part in Black Friday? Many people set their alarm clocks for those 4:00am sales. Everyone is looking for a bargain.

In a year that has been less than financially friendly to many families, these early morning sales can help them make a difference in giving their child that special gift they asked for.

During this time of year, it is also time to think about so many gifts that won't cost you money, however will be priceless in their value.

Here are some ideas:

Your time. It is that simple, your children crave your attention and would love to have more time with you. Can you make a promise to take more time out of your schedule and give it to your child? Learn about "Family Time Out" all year round.

Volunteer with your family. There is nothing more fulfilling than giving back to those with less. Contact your local Goodwill, Red Cross or Salvation Army. Find out where the homeless shelters or soup kitchens are in your area - take a day to donate your time to others as a family. Learn more about Volunteering in your community.

Clean out your closets! What does this mean? Do you have old toys, yet in good condition, or games that maybe you only used once or twice? Do you have clothes you no longer wear however are still like new? Donate! Everyone take the time to give up what they don't use and find a place to donate to needy families. Bikes are always a hot and needed item.

Does your grocery store offer buy one get one free? In Florida, Publix offers this almost everyday on many items. Give that item to a local food bank. Again, it is all about giving to those with less and doing this together will teach your children to be less materialistic and more about the true meaning of the holidays - to give.

Spirituality. Maybe you are not religious, maybe you were at one time or maybe you are. Whatever category you fall into, maybe it is time to find visit a new church or synagogue. Trying new experiences can be enlightening and you never know who you may meet or what you might learn.

Picture Time! Yes, of course you can take photo's but to have more fun, drag out those boxes from your childhood, home movies from years (decades) ago as well as your child's photo's from birth to today! Your kids, even teens love this - and there is nothing like laughing and memories to bring in a new year and celebrate the love of family.
Remember the holidays are about giving and as parents we need to set the example for our children.

Reminder: Holiday Safety Tips
Holiday Gift Ideas for Teens
Cards that Give
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Also on Examiner.com

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Sue Scheff: Love Our Children USA Helps Protect Teens on Cyber Monday


Ross Ellis, founder of Love Our Children USA and STOMP Out Bullying is a dedicated and devoted crusader to help protect children in our country.

Recently she wrote a fantastic and timely article to help protect you and your teens during this holiday season. Cyber Monday is a very busy time online. Here are some great tips by Ross Ellis – and as a Parent Advocate, I believe everyone needs to take the time to learn more about keeping you and your family safe in cyberspace!

Holiday safety for you and your teens on Cyber Monday

Cyber Monday is 6 days away, for those online shoppers who want a great deal on their holiday gifts.

61% of consumers are shopping online and that includes teens shopping online as well.

Here’s what you can do to ensure online safety:

• Talk to your teens about online safety and how to avoid these online Cyber Monday scams
• Be sure you know what sites your teens are shopping on
• Make sure the web site is legitimate before inputting your credit card info
• Make sure the site provides full contact info. It should list the company’s street address, phone number and e-mail address. You can find this in the “Contact Us” or “About Us” pages. Check out their return policy or privacy policy, for a mailing address.
• Check out the privacy policy. Look for a link at the bottom of the home page that says “Privacy Policy” or for a link on the “About Us” or FAQ pages. Read the policy to find out whether the company shares customer info with third parties and whether you can opt out. Look for a trust e-seal, which means the privacy policy is solid.

• See what BBB.org says. Look for the BBB Online Reliability Program seal on a site’s home page. (Clicking on the seal should take you directly to BBB.org). Or go to www.bbb.org/us/Find-Business- Reviews and search by the company name or URL. Look for a rating of “satisfactory” or a grade of at least C-. Some smaller sites aren’t listed, and plenty of excellent sites aren’t yet accredited.

• If the site looks sketchy, contact www.ripoffreport.com and http://www.complaintsboard.com/.
If you have a bad experience you can file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau at www.bbb.org/us. You can also report your bad experience to the Federal Trade Commission, the nation’s consumer protection agency, at http://www.onguardonline.gov/or if you are the victim of an internet crime contact Internet Crime Complaint Center, backed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, at http://www.ic3.gov/

According to Consumer Reports, cybercriminals have bilked $8 billion from consumers in the past two years. As shoppers open their wallets and their Internet browsers for Cyber Monday deals there’s an increase in scams. Especially the 12 scams of Christmas.

Don’t click links in e-mails, which can easily redirect you to false or misleading websites. If you create a new account to buy something use a unique password with letters and symbols, rather than using the same password for all of your log-ins.

Be sure your security software is updated!

Discuss Cyber Monday safety rules with your teen and have fun shopping safely!
Want to know more? Visit http://www.loveourchildrenusa.org/
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Also on Examiner.com - Comments welcome there!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Sue Scheff: Teens Lying



Part 10 of my sneak peek inside the BIG Book of Parenting Solutions, written by parenting expert, Dr. Michele Borba, brings us to a topic that I hear about frequently - LYING. Why do our kids lie to us? What is the motivation? Where did they learn this habit from? Is there really a difference between a white lie and not a white lie? Let's explore this subject. There is an entire chapter on lying starting on page 173.



Red Flags


Lies, exaggerates, or stretches the truth; can no longer be trusted; deceives out of habit


Pay Attention to This!

An occasional fib is nothing to worry about, but if your child develops a habit of lying, it could be a sign of some deeper problem or, in rarer situations, Conduct Disorder. Seek the help of a mental help professional for these reoccurring symptoms: stealing, lying, fighting, destroying property, truancy, deliberate infraction of rules, bullying and cruelty, or showing no sadness or remorse when confronted with the mistruth. See also Bullying, page 332, and Steals, page 218.

ONE SIMPLE SOLUTION (of many listed in this book)

Use Moral Questions to Stretch Your Child's Honesty Quotient
Asking the right questions when your child bends the truth can be import tool for stretching your child's honesty quotient. Here are a few questions to get you started:

"Did you tell the truth?"
"Was that the right thing to do?"
"Why do you think I'm concerned?"
"If everybody in the family [class] always lied, what would happen?"
"If you don't follow through on your word, what will happen to my trust in you?"
"How would you feel if I lied to you? How do you think I feel to be lied to?"
"Why is lying wrong?"

The change you are aiming for is for your child to finally grasp that lying breaks down trust. It will take time, so use those teachable moments to help your child understand the value of honesty.

Previous sneak peeks: (1) Gratitude Recipes: Big Book of Parenting Solutions, (2) Parenting 101: Ungrateful teens and children (3) Seven Deadly Parenting Styles, (4) Sex Talk with your Children, (5) Gifted children, (6) Money and your kids, (7) Oppositional Defiant Disorder, (8) Sibling Rivalry, (9) Overweight teens and children, (10) Lying

For those that don't have time to read, this is the perfect book for you since it is not the type of book you sit down to read. As parenting questions come up, you can go straight to the index and find the page number. Immediately you will see the pages divided by boxes, quick tips and advice and easy to read and understand resources. Did I mention she also gives you proven research and statistics?

Order The BIG BOOK of Parenting Solutions today! Whether it is for yourself or as a gift, you won't be disappointed.

Also on Examiner.com

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sue Scheff: Teen Drug Use


Personally, I don’t think parents of kids today can hear enough about the dangers of drug abuse. It has never been more deadly, and that is not saying it was not deadly years ago, however the access seems to be easier and the peer pressure is growing. When I hear parents tell me their teen is “only smoking pot” it bewilders me that many don’t understand that is the gateway to many other substances for many kids. I won’t say all, but many will start with pot and graduate to meth, crack, and so many others on the streets now. One of the most dangerous, in my opinion, is heroin. Take a few minutes to read a recent article by Connect with Kids about this drug and some parenting tips.

Source: Connect with Kids

HEROIN

“Yeah, you can snort heroin. Definitely snort heroin. That’s what I do.”

– Christina, 18 years old

In Illinois, Oregon, New York, Alabama and several other states, police are reporting an increase in the number of deaths of young people from an overdose of heroin. In fact, today government surveys show that over 25 percent of high school seniors say heroin is “fairly easy to buy.”

“Smack”, “H”, “Junk” … they’re all street names for heroin. And anecdotal evidence suggests the use of this drug may be on the rise for two reasons, experts say.

First, many kids already using prescription drugs are looking for a new and cheaper high.

“Kids are looking for something different. And this is something different. Every addict- anybody who’s ever been addicted to drugs is always looking for that perfect high, the thing that will get them feeling the way that they want to feel, but they still want to convince themselves that they’re in control. And so addicts are constantly looking for new drugs, new combinations, new ways to take drugs and this is just an extension of that,” explains substance abuse counselor, Dr. Robert Margolis.

Second, heroin today is purer and more refined, which means it can be snorted instead of injected.

“Yeah, you can snort heroin, definitely snort heroin. That’s what I do,” says 18-year-old Christina.

That makes heroin more appealing to kids afraid of sticking a needle in their arm.

“It’s a way for kids to rationalize doing a drug that is highly addictive and highly dangerous. Of course, it’s in no way safe, it’s in no way ok, but it’s a way that in their minds they convince that it’s safe,” says Margolis.

That’s exactly what Christina thought. “I won’t do it because I know shooting things up is stronger and it makes it more addictive.”

But, Margolis warns, it won’t be long until they’re looking for a stronger high. “Give them time. After a few years of snorting, they’ll be shooting up. There’s no doubt about it.”

Heroin is an illegal, highly addictive drug. It is both the most abused and the most rapidly acting of the opiates. Heroin is processed from morphine, a naturally occurring substance extracted from the seed pod of certain varieties of poppy plants. It is typically sold as a white or brownish powder or as the black sticky substance known on the streets as “black tar heroin.”

According to the National Institutes on Drug Abuse, although purer heroin is becoming more common, most street heroin is “cut” with other drugs or with substances such as sugar, starch, powdered milk, or quinine. Street heroin can also be cut with strychnine, fentanyl or other poisons. Because heroin abusers do not know the actual strength of the drug or its true contents, they are at risk of overdose or death. Heroin also poses special problems because of the transmission of HIV and other diseases that can occur from sharing needles or other injection equipment.


Tips for Parents
Heroin enters the brain, where it is converted to morphine and binds to receptors known as opioid receptors. These receptors are located in many areas of the brain (and in the body), especially those involved in the perception of pain and in reward. Opioid receptors are also located in the brain stem—important for automatic processes critical for life, such as breathing (respiration), blood pressure, and arousal. Heroin overdoses frequently involve a suppression of respiration.

After an intravenous injection of heroin, users report feeling a surge of euphoria (”rush”) accompanied by dry mouth, a warm flushing of the skin, heaviness of the extremities, and clouded mental functioning. Following this initial euphoria, the user goes “on the nod,” an alternately wakeful and drowsy state. Users who do not inject the drug may not experience the initial rush, but other effects are the same.

With regular heroin use, tolerance develops, in which the user’s physiological (and psychological) response to the drug decreases, and more heroin is needed to achieve the same intensity of effect. Heroin users are at high risk for addiction—it is estimated that about 23 percent of individuals who use heroin become dependent on it.


References
National Institutes on Drug Abuse