Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sue Scheff: Why Teens Have Sex

Whether you have had an opportunity to watch 16 and Pregnant or Teen Moms, there is one common thread that weaves through these shows:  Teenage girls seem to believe having a baby will keep their boyfriend or having a baby will give them someone to love them unconditionally.

Every day, more than 2,000 teen girls in the United States get pregnant. In fact, 3 in 10 girls will become pregnant by age 20. Not having sex is the only sure way to avoid pregnancy, though there are a lot of other good reasons to wait, too. But if you're having sex, you must use birth control carefully and correctly every single time you do.- Stay Teen

Teens and sex is a growing subject that has more resources and information than ever before.  Educating parents, teachers and teenagers is a commitment everyone needs to have.  Stay Teen is one of several valuable websites that offers a vast amount of information about having sex and/or considering having sex.
One common question is, "why'd you do it?"  Here are some of answers from Stay Teen:
  • I'm curious - I want to experiment/ get experience.
  • I just want to get this first time out of the way.
  • Sex is no big deal. Everyone is doing it.
  • Every one of my friends has had sex - I'm the only hold out. I feel like a wierdo.
  • The popular kids in my school are the ones who have sex - I want to fit in with them.
  • My partner really wants me to do it - he/ she says that it'll bring us closer together/ prove my love/ show my commitment.
  • There's nothing to do in this town but have sex.
  • I won't really know how compatible we are until we've had sex.
  • My parents are so controlling and strict - they'd freak out if they knew I was having sex.
  • We've already had sex once - I can't very well say no now.
  • It's just a "friends-with-benefits" thing - what's the big deal?

Think you might not be ready yet? Check out the Waiting page for more.  Visit for more educational information.

In South Florida, Planned Parenthood can help you educate your teens on sex and if they are considering have it.  Teen Talk is targeted at discussing sex education and protection with your teens.
Be an educated parent, you will have safer and healthier teens.

Read more.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Sue Scheff: Depression and Your Teens - Digging Out of the Darkside

Depression, sadness, anxiety, panic attacks, suicidal thoughts, isolation, fear, etc.  Are you depressed?  Do you know someone that is suffering with depression?  Do you suspect your teenager may have signs of clinical depression?

During today's economy, many parents are struggling financially, maybe even lost their jobs or homes.  Teenagers are going through a turbulent time as bullying and school violence climbs.  Peer pressure is common as teens find it difficult to keep up with what they believe are the cool groups. 

Guide to Healthcare Schools has developed a comprehensive list of depression resources on the Internet.  They have asked me to share this extensive research in hopes that it will help people understand the signs of depression, the types of depression as well as some treatment directories.

Today, depression is one of the leading disorders facing adults, teens, and children, and while an increasing number of people seek help, an even larger contingency of the population suffer in silence.

Recovering from depression is a long and treacherous rode, often requiring the treatment of underlying causes of depression as opposed to merely a chemical imbalance.

Of course, the first step to recovering from depression is recognizing that you have a problem. The following list of articles and statistics are designed to help you learn more about what depression is, the symptoms of depression, how to seek help, and how to begin to recover.

Statistics on Depression in the United States

The following statistics were gathered by PBS .
  • Depression affects 15 million American adults, which is roughly 8% of the U.S. population.
  • Bipolar disorder or manic depression affects a staggering 6 million American adults. This is roughly 3% of the population.
  • Women are twice as likely to develop depression as men.
  • 80% of people who experience depression do not receive any sort of treatment.
  • 80-90% of people who experience serious depression are unemployed.
  • 90% of people who commit suicide have some sort of diagnosable mental illness.
  • Scientists predict that by the year 2020 depression will be the 2nd most prevalent health problem in the world.
Read the entire research and resources - click here.
Need help in Broward County?  Visit Mental Health Association of Broward County.

Be an educated parent, you will have a healthier family. Read more.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Sue Scheff: Peer Pressure and Your Kids - Check out The Cool Spot

Being a parent today is difficult. Finding the right time to talk to your kids about the dangers of alcoholism and drinking is critical. Just say no to drugs, but also say no to drinking. Parents are the anti-drug.

As the Diane Katz Santarelli trial has just ended, this has brought more awareness to the importance of keeping out kids and teenagers safe and educated on the dangers of substance abuse.

The Cool Spot is a place for teens and tweens to learn more about alcohol and resisting peer pressure. The Cool Spot was created for kids 11-13 years old by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). The NIAAA is the lead U.S. agency supporting research into the causes, prevention, and treatment of alcohol problems. It is a component of the National Institutes of Health, within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Peer pressure is a common thread when kids are trying to fit in. Most one to be part of a cool group, but at what cost?
  • Pressure is the feeling that you are being pushed toward making a certain choice-good or bad.
  • A peer is someone in your own age group.
  • Peer pressure is-you guessed it-the feeling that someone your own age is pushing you toward making a certain choice, good or bad.
On a positive note, peer pressure isn't all bad. There are good things about peer pressure too.

You and your friends can pressure each other into some things that will improve your health and social life and make you feel good about your decisions.

Think of a time when a friend pushed you to do something good for yourself or to avoid something that would've been bad.

Learn the facts about alcohol. When is too much, too soon or too risky? Visit The Cool Spot and encourage your kids to visit it and interact with the quizzes and valuable information.

Be an educated parent, you will have safer and healthier children.

Related articles:

Supervised Underage Drinking
Too Smart to Start
Above the Influence
Buzzed Driving Kills the Same as Drunk Driving

Read more.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sue Scheff: Help Josie Ratley (Teen that was nearly beaten to death) as she comes home soon. Supplies Needed - Consider Donating

As Josie Ratley turns a page in her recovery, she will need the generosity and support of the community to help her family as they prepare for her to come home.

According to Jowharah Sanders, founder of the National Voices for Equality, Education & Enlightenment,  (pronounced "Envy") and spokesperson for the Ratley Family, "There is a list of items the family will need at this time from the basic medical supplies, educational item, and a new home that will allow the family more space for a child whose primary form of transportation is now a wheelchair and a walker."

Among the items specifically noted are:


"Easy to read" books
Writing pads
Legos, blocks and any type of building items (to aid in motor skills)
Preschool learning toys
Electronic interactive learning items with batteries. The items include a Leap Frog learning Pad or leap Frog Computers and DynaVox EyeMax Educational Systems.
Magnetic letters and puzzles
Wall stickers in the shape of numbers of letters
Soft cushy balls in different colors (to aid in sensory development)
Learning CD's and music for children.


Artist sketch pads or water color pads
Colored pencils
Paints and brushes


Wash cloths that are white
Queen-size bedding and queen-size
Waterproof mattress covers
Gift Cards


Regular Gauze (size 2x2 and 4x4)
Rolled Gauze (2")
Normal saline
Medical tape
Allevyn (Adhesive Hydrocellular Dressing) in both sizes, 3x 3 and 5x5
Blue Chux Underpads or any type of disposable changing pads.

The requested items can be DROPPED OFF at the following locations:

Gallery 101
501 N. Andrews Avenue, Suite 103
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301

Fache Arts
750 NE 124 Street, Suite 2
North Miami, FL 33161

The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale
1799 S.E. 17th Street,
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316


PO Box 23837
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33307
(954) 561-2626
** Please make checks payable to NVEEE/Josie Lou Ratley

For more information, please visit Pray for Josie Lou Ratley Facebook Group.

Please forward this list to all your friends in your contact list. If everyone gives a little, there will be a lot!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Sue Scheff: Text Message Has Lasting Memories - "I love you guys" From: Emily

Who is Emily? She was a beautiful young 16 year-old that lost her life in school shooting after being held hostage. As her parents were frantic, her father thought to text her while she was in being held hostage. The response was chilling and loving, yet this was Emily's final communication to her family as she was killed shortly following the message. (Must watch video).

Her parents, John-Michael and Ellen Keyes created a foundation in her memory promoting school safety. "I Love U Guys" is a foundation that is helping schools, helping students and helping communities.

During the time she was held hostage, Emily sent her parents text messages... "I love you guys" and "I love u guys. k?" Emily's kindness, spirit, fierce joy, and the dignity and grace that followed this tragic event define the core of The "I Love U Guys" Foundation.

The mission of "I Love U Guys" was created to restore and protect the joy of youth through educational programs and positive actions in collaboration with families, schools, communities, organizations and government entities.

After extensive research, The "I Love U Guys" Foundation developed the Standard Response Protocol (SRP), a classroom response to any school incident.

You can find out more about this foundation on their Facebook page and their website at .

Many articles will talk about the dangers of texting, text rage, driving and texting etc. Here is one time that a text message is considered priceless in a strangely positive way. Ellen and John-Michael Keyes are commended for taking this horrific incident and bringing out the positive side of it. Changing lives, creating school safety and most of all, sharing their story to promote awareness to the need of schools, teachers, communities, authorities and parents banning together for the sake of our children.

Watch video  and read more -  help secure your school and community are safe places for your children.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Sue Scheff: BullyBust Your School and Community Today!

Do we need to hear more acts of violence, bullying and vicious text rage? Do we need to hear it escalating to text hit lists or teens making bombs? In reality, this is not an exageration, it is happening.

In Broward County we have the horrific stories of Josie Lou Ratley, an eight grader that was nearly beaten to death and Michael Brewer, a teen that was nearly burned to death.

In Brevard County we have Cameron Lee Kage, a teen that was accused of creating a deadly bomb with all the materials and instructions to potentially set it off at his school.

In Duval County there is Anthony Jones that was allegedly on a text hit list in his school and was shot.

We don't need another incident to wake-up our state and our county the serious cry for help with our teens and kids today.

BullyBust is is an awareness campaign designed to reduce bullying in schools by teaching students and adults how to stand up to bullying and promote upstander behavior. An upstander is someone who witnesses bully behavior and does something about it. Use the resources on to transform your school or community from one of passive bystanders to a community of positive upstanders. Together we can put an end to bullying!

Educators, get critical supports for your school and join a dedicated community of schools nationwide: Sign up for the Partner School Program today.

Join BullyBust on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.
Sign the BullyBust Stand UP Pledge today!+

Read more.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Sue Scheff: What is your School Climate?

No matter where you are in our country, school climate is critical in our childrens lives. Today with the headlines ripping with text rage, text threats and hit lists, bullying, beatings, teen bomb scares and more, there has never been a more crucial time to educate parents, teachers, schools and students about prevention of school violence and the need to learn about healthy living.

School Climate is an educational resource that is working diligently to bring together everyone to benefit our communities and school districts.

About School Climate:

Our goal is to promote positive and sustained school climate: a safe, supportive environment that nurtures social and emotional, ethical, and academic skills.

CSEE is an organization that helps schools integrate crucial social and emotional learning with academic instruction. In doing so, we enhance student performance, prevent drop outs, reduce physical violence, bullying, and develop healthy and positively engaged adults.

For more than a decade CSEE has worked together with the entire academic community-teacher, staff, school-based mental health professionals, students and parents-to improve a climate for learning.

We help translate research into practice by establishing meaningful and relevant guidelines, programs and services that support a model for whole school improvement with a focus on school climate.

Join School Climate on Facebook and follow them on Twitter. Also follow them on through BullyBust.

Is your school safe? Do the students feel safe? Measure your school climate today! Click here.

Be an educated parent, you will have safer and healthier teens. Read more.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Sue Scheff: Tips for Teens Looking for Summer Jobs

With today's economy and more importantly to help teach your teenager responsibility it is beneficial for many teens to get a summer job. What can be difficult is many adults are now accepting employment where teens used to get jobs due to the financial struggles many are having.

How can teens get jobs? Here are some great tips from Quintessential Careers to help you land a summer job:

Always avoided your parent's friends? Now's the time to get to know them better. Networking -- talking -- with as many adults (family, friends, neigborhors, etc.) as you can is best way to find a job, any job. Learn more about the power of networking.

You thought school was over? Think again. Now is the time to learn all you need about job-hunting because it's going to be harder than ever before to get a job. Learn more about job-hunting basics.

How's your spelling and grammar? Better brush up. Take the time to prepare or update your resume -- you'll need it when you go on job interviews. Check out these resume resources and sample resumes.

Put away those short skirts and thrift-store clothes. When you talk with potential employers, you need to dress your best and look professional, not like you're going on a date or lounging around the house. Learn how to dress for success.

Turn off the television or video games and hit the street. A good way to look for summer jobs is going to the human resources department or manager of as many stores and offices in your town. Dress professionally and bring lots of copies of your resume.

Thought you were done competing with your older siblings? Nope. Teens are being squeezed out of traditional jobs this summer as more experienced workers are forced to take whatever jobs they can find.
If you love the outdoors, you may have better luck. As summer tourism picks up, there will be jobs in water parks, camps, and other hospitality-related companies and organizations.

Love the Net? Then use it -- to a point. There are a number of teen summer job and camp sites, but don't make this method your sole method of job-hunting. Check out these teen summer job sites.

No matter how bad it gets, keep smiling. Studies show employers look for these things in teens: enthusiasm, positive attitude, hard-working, friendly, and on-time.

What do Employers Look for in Teens

Employers want motivated teens who are going to arrive to work on time, have a positive attitude, work hard, work well with others, show leadership qualities, work their full shift, and do the best job they can. You need to show your employer that you are a good investment, both for the current position, as well as for any potential future positions.

Final Words of Advice

Jobs are jobs. You are going to have to work, no matter how “cool” the job or company, so be prepared for some days to not be as great as others. The keys to remember are that you are earning money, you are gaining experience, and you are making good contacts (and references)!

Time to hit the pavement or your keyboard!

Dr. Randall S. Hansen is founder of Quintessential Careers, one of the oldest and most comprehensive career development sites on the Web, as well CEO of Also check out his job and career resources for teenagers.

Is your teen interested in the water? Pools, beaches and camps - Check out Red Cross Lifeguarding Certifications. Read more.

Read more about teens and summer jobs.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Sue Scheff: Sex, tech and teens - What parents need to know

S-E-X, this is one of the most difficult and sensitive subjects parents dread to talk to their kids about, but it is also just as critical. Now let's compound it with technology and teens and we can create sexting!

The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy and Cosmo Girl have recently released the results of a new survey. Results from this new survey show that 21% of teen girls and 18% of teen boys have sent/ posted nude or semi-nude images of themselves. What is going on with teens, tech, and sex?

Tips for parents from the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy include:

1. Talk to your kids about what they are doing in cyberspace. Just as you need to talk openly and honestly with your kids about real life sex and relationships, you also want to discuss online and cell phone activity. Read more.

2. Know who your kids are communicating with. Of course it's a given that you want to know who your children are spending time with when they leave the house. Read more.

3. Consider limitations on electronic communication.The days of having to talk on the phone in the kitchen in front of the whole family are long gone, but you can still limit the time your kids spend online and on the phone. Read more.

4. Be aware of what your teens are posting publicly. Check out your teen's MySpace, Facebook and other public online profiles from time to time. This isn't snooping-this is information your kids are making public. Read more.

5. Set expectations. Make sure you are clear with your teen about what you consider appropriate "electronic" behavior. Read more.

More articles of interest:

Should you read your teen's diary?
Should you read your teen's emails and text messages?
Is honestly the best policy?
Not my kid
Nastygrams: Think before you send

Learn what teens need to know!

Be an educated parent, you will have safer teens.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Sue Scheff: Teens that Procrastinate - Is it a big deal?

Who isn't guilty of procrastinating at one time or another?  As school is wrapping up, many High School Seniors are prepping for their upcoming college days.  There is a lot of preparation for both the parent and the teen.  How fast will it all get done? Is there anything wrong with a little bit of procrastination?

I'll Do It Tomorrow

Source: Connect with Kids

“I want the kids to experience the consequences, the painful consequences of being late in their projects, of getting poor grades. That stimulates the internal motivation that's required to defeat the procrastination.”

– John Lochridge, MD, child psychiatrist

Senioritis. It's that time of year. With high school graduation around the corner, for many high school seniors procrastination is at an all-time-high. But they are not alone. Studies show that up to 95 percent of students procrastinate on their school work. Why do today what you can put off till tomorrow?

13-year-old Leslie watches TV, talks on the phone, goes online... anything to avoid doing her schoolwork. "With, like, all the technology out there, it's so easy just to like completely not do your homework," she says.

Her dad says it's a constant source of frustration. "Just, what was it, last week, she was up till 12:30 finishing homework," he says.

Why do people procrastinate?

A study from the University of Calgary found one reason that may help parents better understand their kids: some procrastinators simply lack the confidence to complete the task.

Leslie, for example: "Like in math and science I'm awful," she says, "and whenever I have a project due I always wait till the last minute."

Experts say that, whatever the reason, there is one important way parents can help: let your child handle it.

"In my opinion, the chief problem I see is parents taking too much responsibility," explains Dr. John Lochridge, a child psychiatrist. "So I tend to go backwards from helping the kids. In other words, I want the kids to experience the consequences, the painful consequences of being late in their projects, of getting poor grades. That stimulates the internal motivation that's required to defeat the procrastination."

And if your child lacks the confidence to get the work done tell them, "It doesn't have to be an A-plus paper," says Lochridge. "Let's get working on it, let's break it up into smaller pieces and get satisfaction from developing the smaller pieces into a larger piece that is a good product. And then that confidence builds from having the success."

What Parents Need To Know

"Everybody procrastinates, but not everybody is a procrastinator," says Dr. Joseph Ferrari, Professor of Psychology at DePaul University. The good news is that when it comes to children, procrastination is only worthy of attention from a therapist or psychologist when it permeates every aspect of their lives—"when they're doing this at home, at school, with their friends," Ferrari says.

Parents can help their children by presenting tasks in concrete terms (for instance, picking up the balls versus cleaning the playroom). More importantly, though, parents can help by recognizing that parenting style is significant. Ferrari, who has been researching procrastination for more than 20 years, says there is no gene for procrastination; it is learned. He suggests that parents reward their children for being early rather than punish them for being late.

Linda Sapadin, Ph.D., clinical psychologist and author of Beat Procrastination and Make the Grade, describes two types of procrastinators: perfectionists and dreamers. Perfectionists are very detail-oriented, and seldom satisfied with their work. As a result they have great difficulty completing assignments. They need help to understand the difference between "perfect" and "excellent" or "very good." They also need help setting time limits. Dreamers tend to be laid back, mellow kids who'd rather "hang out" than "get going." They tend not to think about the details and deadlines associated with schoolwork. Dreamers aren't great at timing. Parents can help them estimate how long it will take to complete a project, then have them check their own estimates against what actually happens.

In the middle school years, start letting go of control and allow your children to handle their own time management. They will probably take a little nose-dive as far as grades go, but they should be able recover fairly quickly. Remember, nagging will not help. Many teens are stubborn and instead of doing what they're told, will rebel and procrastinate even more.

For younger children, set a firm bedtime, regardless of what work they have to complete. This will not only help them schedule their time better in the future, but also allow them a good night's rest. If they are up all night studying for a test, their brains may not be functioning at 100 percent the next day and, in turn, they'll perform poorly on the exam.


■Why Kids Procrastinate on
Beat Procrastination and Make the Grade

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Sue Scheff: Summer School and Activities

Yes, summer is about here. The final report cards will be coming in and parents will be determining if their teenager needs to attend summer school. With budget cuts in local schools, and the cost of private tutoring, this can be a challenge. However as most parents know, education is key to our children's future.

It is important your teenager has goals and aspirations for their future. If they are in need of summer help, checking into local resources that offer assistance. The Broward Educator website may have an interest that perks your teen up. Florda Smart website is part of the Broward County public school system that offers numerous magnet programs, special education centers, and after school programs. You can also find summer programs listed.

Florida Virtual School is free to Florida Residents! This may be a great option for parents that need to enhance their teens GPA or even just get them caught up academically. They offer certified and caring teachers.

Of course all teens want to be out there surfing, swimming, fishing, playing sports and more and they can. However they need to also be in tune with their education and it is up to the parent to guide them in the right direction. They can do it all, it is all about planning your summer ahead!

Education is the key to your teenagers future. Be a part of it now and they will be grateful (probably later).  Read more!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Sue Scheff: Mother's Day Delay

As Mother's Day is fast approaching on May 9th this year, some people scramble to find the perfect gift to show their mother how much they are appreciated. Some struggle with the loss of a mother, while others debate whether to honor their mother.

Are you the parent of a teen that is also celebrating Mother's Day? 16 and Pregnant is a reality show that has received a lot of attention with both parents and teens. In the season finale, Dr. Drew hosts a round table discussion with the 10 teens that gave birth.

What you will learn is that many of these girls believe that getting pregnant (or making the decision to keep the baby verse adoption or abortion) will help them to keep their boyfriend too. Most all of these teens express how much harder it is to be a mother than they expected.

A light bulb moment is the fact that school is suddenly so important to these girls, which is great, but why didn't they think of this prior having sex without protection? Some of the girls admitted they didn't care about school prior this major event (teen pregnancy) and now would give anything to have their teen years back and how they would do things much differently. (Watch video)

Although they all love their babies, whether they kept them or gave them up for adoption, there is a common thread that goes through the group. Having a baby is not easy. Having a baby doesn't keep your boyfriend. Having a baby is extremely exhausting. Having a baby has changed their life dramatically and not always for the best. Watch a series of video segments, click here.

So on this Mother's Day, if you have a teen or are a teen, take the time to understand that being a mother is a very special job. At the same time, it is one of the most difficult and stressful. Talk to your teens about sex education. It can be a sensitive subject, but it is a lot less painful than those midnight feedings!

Remember teens, it's your sex life, know the risks and be smart about it!

Remember parents, communication is key, talk to your teens today!

Happy Mother's Day!

Read more and watch video.