Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Addiction: Dangerous and Deadly - Don't Ignore Substance Signs with your Teen

Amy Winehouse, dies at 27 years old.
The tragic loss of Amy Winehouse has robbed us of a young, if fatally troubled, life cut down in its prime. It has also cheated music of a talent, at 27, whose best years surely still lay ahead.

For the past few years, it often seemed to be a question of when, not if, her drug and alcohol addictions would push her body beyond its limits. Her fans willed her to beat her demons and get well, but in the end, the demons won.

What demons are we speaking about?  No, not Satan, but substance abuse.

Many parents will overlook their teen only smoking pot, or just drinking alittle, but in reality your denial is only harming your teenager.

Before becoming an addict, it start with just a joint - maybe just a shot of vodka, but where it ends up, no one knows.

Let this tragedy be a time to open the door to communication with your teen.  Talk about the dangers of drug use, drinking and other negative behaviors.

Tips to help prevent teen substance abuse:

1.     Communication is the key to prevention.  Whenever an opportunity arises about the risks of drinking and driving or the dangers of using drugs,  take it to start a conversation.
2.     Have a conversation not a confrontation.  If you suspect your teen is using drugs, talk to them.  Don't judge them, talk to them about the facts of the dangers of substance abuse.  If your teen isn't opening up to you, be sure you find an adolescent therapist that can help.
3.     Addict in the family?  Do you have an addict in your family?  Sadly many families have been effected by someone that has allowed drugs to take over their lives.  With this, it is a reminder to your teen that you want them to have bright future filled with happiness.  The last thing you want for them is to end up like ____.
4.     Don't be a parent in denial.  There is no teenager that is immune to drug abuse.  No matter how smart your teen is, or athletic they are, they are at risk if they start using.  I firmly believe that keeping  your teen constructively busy, whether it is with sports, music or other hobbies they have, you will be less at risk for them to want to experiment.  However don't be in the dark thinking that your teen is pulling a 4.0 GPA and on the varsity football that they couldn't be dragged down by peer pressure.  Go back to number one - talk, talk, talk - remind your teen how proud you are of them, and let them know that you are always available if they feel they are being pressured to do or try something they don't want to.
5.     Do you know what your teen is saying?  Listen or watch on texts or emails for code words for certain drug lingo. Skittling, Tussing, Skittles, Robo-tripping, Red Devils, Velvet, Triple C, C-C-C-, Robotard are some of the names kids use for cough and cold medication abuse.  Weed, Pot, Ganja, Mary Jane, Grass, Chronic, Buds, Blunt, Hootch, Jive stick, Ace, Spliff, Skunk, Smoke, Dubie, Flower, Zig Zag are all slang for marijuana.
6.     Leftovers.  Are there empty medicine wrappers or bottles, burn marks on their clothes or rug, ashes, stench, etc in their room or if they own a car, in their car? Teens (and tweens) either take several pills or smash them so all of it is released at once.  Be sure to check all pockets, garbage cans, cars, closets, under beds, etc. for empty wrappers and other evidence of drug use.  Where are your prescription drugs?  Have you counted them lately?
7.     Body language. Tune into changes in your teen’s behavior. Changing peer groups, altering their physical appearance and/or lack of hygiene, eating or sleeping patterns changing, hostile and uncooperative attitude (defiance), missing money or other valuables from the home, sneaking out of the house, etc.
8.     Access to alcohol.  Look around your home, is there liquor that is easily accessible?  Teens admit getting alcohol is easy-and the easiest place to get it is in their home.  Know what you have in the house and if you suspect your teen is drinking, lock it up!  Talk to them about the risks of drinking, especially if they are driving. 
9.     Seal the deal.  Have your teen sign a contract to never drink and drive. Students Against Drunk Driving (SADD) www.saddonline.comprovides a free online contract to download. It may help them pause just the second they need to not get behind that wheel.
10.  Set the example, be the example.  What many parents don't realize is that you are the leading role model for your teen.  If your teen sees you smoking or drinking frequently, what is the message you are sending?  Many parents will have a glass of wine or other alcoholic beverage, however the teen needs to understand you are the adult, and there is a reason that the legal drinking age is 21.

Do you have a teen that you suspect is using drugs?  Have you exhausted all your local resources?

Don't be a parent in denial!

Take the time to learn about residential therapy, visit  Each teen and family are unique, there are many teen help programs, knowing how to locate the one best for you can be a challenge, however Parents' Universal Resource Experts, can help, starting with a free consultation.

Many prayers and thoughts to the family and friends of Amy Winehouse.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Teen Secret: Do You Know Where Your Teens Goes Virtually?

Be in the know!
Kids and especially teens are notorious for keeping secrets from their parents, and in today’s world of technology they have a whole new world of ways to keep secrets.

Since kids are also incredibly adept at learning and using modern technology and the following list may help you keep better track of what your child may be hiding.
  1. Surfing the Internet: Today, kids have almost unlimited access to computers, and now computers are small enough to carry, enabling access to the internet literally anywhere. This gives kids easy access to sites parents may disapprove of, not to mention “adult only” sites that only ask the user to click a link stating they are over 18 years of age. That’s an easy button to click if you want to keep secrets from parents. Close monitoring of your child’s computer history, password protection and parental blocks can keep your child away from inappropriate sites.
  2. Downloads: Kids love to download- anything they can: pictures, jokes, videos, etc. These downloads may be putting your computer at risk for viruses that could cause permanent damage. Parents need to know the source of any download and that it is safe, as well as keeping up-to-date antivirus protection on all computers.
  3. Music Downloads: What kind of music are your kids downloading and listening to? Even if the site is safe, the music might not be. Listen to the music downloads. If you are not able to understand the lyrics of the songs, you may want to check them out. You can find an internet music site that has song lyrics available to read. Be careful, though, if you do not allow your child to download certain titles, he/she will probably change the file name of the prohibited song to something allowable.
  4. Uploads: Kids are not very discerning when it comes to what others should or should not know about themselves, and their families. Find out what sorts of pictures, text and other files your child might be sharing on social networking sites or shared folders.
  5. Games: What games are your kids playing? Playstation, X-box, computer games, both individual and interactive-online are filled with violence and “adult” themes. Monitor the games your child buys or rents; most are labeled with age guidelines and parental notices. Also, monitor your child’s history with online games. Install a computer block that allows access to only approved sites.
  6. Friends: Kids have many friends. Some of them, they don’t even know. Facebook and other online social networking sites make it easy for children to fall prey to predatory abusers disguised as “friends.” If your child has a Facebook or other social networking accounts, make sure that you know their username and password, and check in on their activity once in awhile.
  7. Cell phone use: How much time your kids spend on the phone, when they are calling and who they are calling are important to know. Read the itemized portion of your bill each month to double check, and if there is a number you don’t recognize or don’t want your child accessing, have it blocked through your service carrier.
  8. Texting: With unlimited texting capabilities on cell phone plans, your kids can text anyone at any time, day or night. Parents need to know who they are texting and the language they are both reading and using while they are texting.
  9. Abbreviations: LOL, and CUL maybe be familiar “social” abbreviations, and ROLOFLMHO may be used by your kids without any qualms, but ROLOFLMAO might be offensive to some parents. Do you know the difference? Also, new abbreviations are added to the lexicon of technical communication on a daily basis. As a parent you need to be familiar with abbreviations so as to know what your kids are saying. You can check the internet for sites that list abbreviations and meanings.
  10. Plagiarism and cheating: That kids are able to access information which expedites learning in ways never before thought of, is a wonderful outcome of technology today. That kids can also use this information to cheat in ways never before thought of, isn’t.
Kids will be kids, and they will try to “get away” with anything they can; this will never change. But the world of technology changes every day, and if parents remain technologically savvy, kids will have to work very hard to continue keeping those secrets.

Source: Internet Providers

Be an educated parent, you will have safer teens.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Why do Teens Steal and Shoplift?

As we are in the summer months, more teens are hanging at the malls.  I get an increase in calls of teens being arrested for stealing and/or shoplifting.  Why are they doing this, especially if they have the money to pay for it?

Too Young To Start

There are almost as many reasons teens steal as there are things for teens to steal. One of the biggest reasons teens steal is peer pressure. Often, teens will steal items as a means of proving’ that they are “cool enough” to hang out with a certain group. This is especially dangerous because if your teen can be convinced to break the law for petty theft, there is a strong possibility he or she can be convinced to try other, more dangerous behaviors, like drinking or drugs. It is because of this that it is imperative you correct this behavior before it escalates to something beyond your control.
Another common reason teens steal is because they want an item their peers have but they cannot afford to purchase. Teens are very peer influenced, and may feel that if they don’t have the ‘it’ sneakers or mp3 player, they’ll be considered less cool than the kids who do. If your teen cannot afford these items, they may be so desperate to fit in that they simply steal the item. They may also steal money from you or a sibling to buy such an item. If you notice your teen has new electronics or accessories that you know you did not buy them, and your teen does not have a job or source of money, you may want to address whereabouts they came up with these items.

Teens may also steal simply for a thrill. Teens who steal for the ‘rush’ or the adrenaline boost are often simply bored and/ or testing the limits of authority. They may not even need or want the item they’re stealing! In cases like these, teens can act alone or as part of a group. Often, friends accompanying teens who shoplift will act as a ‘lookout’ for their friend who is committing the theft. Unfortunately, even if the lookout doesn’t actually steal anything, the can be prosecuted right along with the actual teen committing the crime, so its important that you make sure your teen is not aiding his or her friends who are shoplifting.

Yet another reason teens steal is for attention. If your teen feels neglected at home, or is jealous of the attention a sibling is getting, he or she may steal in the hopes that he or she is caught and the focus of your attention is diverted to them. If you suspect your teen is stealing or acting out to gain your attention, it is important that you address the problem before it garners more than just your attention, and becomes part of their criminal record. Though unconventional, this is your teen’s way of asking for your help- don’t let them down!

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Saturday, July 9, 2011

Tween Years: Not so bad afterall

As any parent can attest to, parenting is full of advice you never actually ask for. When you have your first child and they enter toddlerhood people endlessly warn you about the terrible two’s. You hear horror stories from friends, family, articles, and specialists about explosive tantrums and huge blowouts. As with most stories that get repeatedly built up time and time again, your actual experience is usually quite different. While there are problems, it never seems to be as bad as it was built up to be. Likewise, people are constantly talking about how difficult raising a tween is.

Just one search around the web for information on parenting tweens will uncover horrific anecdotes about hormonal preteens, shouting matches, and constant attitude. While you are certainly going to encounter plenty of events like these as a parent, these horror stories only obscure the great aspects of the tween years. There is more to tweens than just hormones and mood swings. It is during these crazy years that some of the best times in your parenting life occur.

Rather than focus on the negatives of raising a budding teenager, cherish these three aspects of your tween while you can.

1. They Are More Independent: Once our kids have left the child stage and entered the tween stage they begin to take on (and in many cases fight for) more independence. While in some instances this can cause tension for parents and their children, we should learn to utilize this independence in a way that benefits both ourselves and out tweens. Cherish that you no longer have to do everything for your child. You no longer have to wash their hair, tie their shoes, or pour their milk. As the parent of a tween, try to celebrate every new task that your child takes on. Let them take on some daily chores and do things for themselves. In many cases, your kids will be fighting for independence and responsibility so strongly, that having them prepare their own lunch in the morning or do the dishes at night can feel like a privilege for them. I know this sounds farfetched, but rather than fighting with your preteen about more independence why not celebrate it? Have your child take on more complex tasks at home. They will appreciate the trust you have in them and feel a sense of accomplishment when they complete the tasks.

2. They are Interesting: It is at this age that our kids begin to develop individual interests and hobbies. While it can be endearing to have your little one emulate all of your actions and interests, as many youngsters do with their parents, tweens begin to create their own individual personalities. Whether their interests are basketball or video games, music or horses, you can begin to see your child’s personality come out. This gives parents the opportunity to pursue a hobby with their child. Take an interest in what they are interested and inspired by. Use this as a way to grow with your tween and learn more about them. Watching your tween’s interests grow and evolve is one of the most exciting and fascinating aspects of parenting at this age.

3. They Get The Jokes: One thing that may cause many parents and teachers a bit of a headache are tweens’ newfound sense of irony and sarcasm. However, this more mature form of humor doesn’t have to be a bad thing by any means. Tweens are some of the most hilarious and creative comedians around. Use this age to laugh along with your tween. Play with words and puns, sarcasm and wit. Jokes that at one point might have gone completely over your child’s head are now funny and enjoyable for all parties involved. This is a great age to introduce your children to more mature movies and books. Find novels, books, movies, television shows that display a higher level of comedy and enjoy them with your kids.

Author Bio:
This is a guest post by Nadia Jones who blogs at online school about education, college, student, teacher, money saving, movie related topics. You can reach her at nadia.jones5@

Friday, July 1, 2011

Teen Sex: Is Your Teen Hooking Up?

Know what your teen is really saying.
Summer flings...  What will your teen be doing this summer?  Who will they be hanging with?

Parents, it is time you get in the know!

Have you ever wondered where certain expressions come from? Me too, which is why cliches and figures of speech have become a hobby of mine. Well, since it’s springtime, traditionally a time for romance, why not have a look at some expressions for getting together (wink-wink)?

Great! Here’s a list of 10 slang terms for “hooking up”, and their origins.
  1. Discussing Uganda – This one is credited to the British magazine Private Eye, a satirical publication that has a tradition of coining such euphemisms. It stems from an incident at a party where a female journalist used the term to explain her absence during a brief sexual rendezvous upstairs, reportedly at the time when Idi Amin and his Ugandan regime predominated the news.
  2. Friends With Benefits – A relationship wherein the partners are not romantically involved, and who would characterize their relationship essentially as a friendship, which includes consensual but non-committal sex ( the “benefits” part). The earliest reference of the phrase in this context that I could find is in the 1996 Alanis Morissette song, Head Over Feet.
  3. Starter Marriage – A term referring to a marital hook-up, meaning a first marriage of short duration and with no children. It’s a play on the expression “starter home” whose popularity is credited to a book by Pamela Paul, The Starter Marriage and the Future of Matrimony.
  4. To Know in the Biblical Sense – A euphemism for having sexual relations. Taken, as the term implies, from the Bible, as in Genesis 4:1 -”And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived…”
  5. Making the Beast with Two Backs – Another sexual euphemism, this one from Shakespeare’s Othello, act 1, scene 1: Iago: I am one, sir, that comes to tell you your daughter and the Moor are now making the beast with two backs.
  6. Tying the Knot –  Marriage has long been associated with such metaphorical imagery of binding ties or knots. This phrase is said to have originated with a Roman custom where the bride wore a girdle which had knots that the groom would need to untie before consummating the union.
  7. Jumping the Broom – In some cultures (Welsh  and Gypsy, for instance), it is a ceremonial tradition for the groom and  bride to literally jump over a broomstick, or a flowering branch of broom (evergreen shrub).
  8. Painting the Town Red – This expression for spending an evening in revelry can be traced to Henry Beresford, the 3rd Marquess of Waterford, who quite literally painted the town of Melton Mowbray red to celebrate a successful fox hunt.
  9. Booty Call – A modern-day reference to a request for casual sex; derived from the sexual term for a woman’s derriere, it means a call made to a prospective partner for the purpose of hooking up in order to have sex, or the act itself.
  10. And, inevitably, we have sexual euphemisms derived from this age of the internet, including a favorite of mine which needs no explanation … Putting YouTube into MySpace.
 Source:  Top Dating Sites