Sunday, January 30, 2011

Struggling Teens and Residential Treatment Centers

You have resolved yourself to the fact that you can no longer control your teen’s behavior as they are spiraling out-of-control.  Where did that cute little child go?

Actually, they are still there, but deeply buried under the layers of peer pressure, society, technology, divorces, and life in general.  Life is not perfect, however with teens (although they believe they are nearly adults) they are not mature enough to understand that divorce isn’t their fault, a parent losing a job isn’t their fault, a death is not their fault, being bullied isn’t their fault – and before you know it, they have baggage that would outweigh even adults.

Now you get online – where can I find help!  I am at my wit’s end!!!!

You start to see all these websites, clearing houses, marketing arms, toll free numbers etc… Then just when you think you found a program that can help, you find some very harsh website of disgruntled parents and other kids that attended that program.

Don’t panic. Look at the sources -is it a reliable source?  Is it a legal case?  Or simply people that have too much time on their hands, have a vengeance after a school  or program and can’t move on with life.  Unless you see some legal cases to substantiate these claims – chances are very good that their sole motive is to prevent others from getting help and slam programs.

It is a fact – just about every school or program in our country (and probably others) have the “good, bad and ugly” about them. You are not in business for years and won’t have clients that are not happy with your services.  This is why it is so critical parents do their research.

As a victim of this myself, I have won two jury trials – I have proved that my issues as being a disgruntled parent were justified in a court of law -and that these malicious websites are nothing but a way to deter parents from believing my story or getting my help.  I always tell parents, I am either famous or infamous – depending on the website you find – but in  reality – I have taken it to the justice system and proved that I was being stalked, harassed and worse because the program my daughter was abused at simply wants me gone.

Order today!
Want to know more – visit and read Wit’s End! Advice and Resources for Saving Your Out of Control Teen.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Underachievers: Help for At-Risk Teens

As second semester continues, more and more parents are struggling with their teens to get them to attend school.  It never ceases to amaze parents that so many teenagers in high school "assume" they can just drop out and get a GED.  Generations prior, this was frowned upon and the only teens that did there were juvenile delinquents.  This has changed.

Do you find yourself forcing your teen to go to school?  Are they failing when they have the potential to succeed?  Has your honor roll student barely getting C's?  Classic signs of underachieving can have an underlying issue to something bigger.

Has their peer group changed?  Are they experimenting with drugs?  Is it "only" a joint now and then? (Seriously some parents think this way).  What they aren't realizing is the pot they smoked 20-30 years ago is not the pot these kids are getting today.

You have come to the realization that you need outside help.  Local therapy has been exhausted, if it did anything, you haven't noticed.  Out-patient programs usually have kids far worse than what your teen is - which means they can learn better tricks and worse behavior.

It is time to do your homework as a parent and find the best match for your teenager - which includes an education.

Many know I am not an advocate of Wilderness programs - and I still am not.  One of the reasons is there is usually zero academics - it is about breaking your child down, which usually they are broken before they get there.  Many teens just fake it to make it for 6-9 weeks - and parents are charges exuberant fees.

Then there are the Educational Consultants (EC) - which parents have an extra $3000-5000, some will hire.  Before you hire them, learn about what many call the EC shuffle.   There are very few, if any, that won't have you start with Wilderness.  In my opinion it is a band-aid parents "like to hear" since most all don't believe their teen's are "that bad" and the years of negative behavior will be washed away in 6-8 weeks.
Wake up - if you talk to the majority of parents that sent their teens to Wilderness first, most will tell you by the fourth week of Wilderness the counselors and staff are already telling you to prepare for the next step.... Residential Treatment Centers or Therapeutic Boarding Schools. Another major costly expense.

My question is - why not start and finish at the same place?  Consistency is one thing these troubled teens need.  Visit for more valuable parent tips.

Michael and Abby P. of Weston recently had to take that major leap with their 17 year-old daughter that was simply escalating out of control.  Knowing that this was their last year to get her help, Abby said, "This was literally the hardest decision we had to make, but we know we have to save her life and hopefully give her an opportunity for a bright future."

Be an educated parent, you will have safer teens!

Read more.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

40 Brilliant Negotiation Tricks Every ‘B’ School Student Should Know

While some people are born with great negotiation skills, most of us have to put forth a lot of effort and learn through trial, error and practice what works and what doesn’t. Whether you’re in business school right now or have just graduated, these negotiation tactics are good to know when you’re in the heat of things and can help you get the better end of a deal– no matter what it is.

Business Basics
These negotiation tactics and tricks will help you lead in business no matter what you’re trying to get, whether it’s a raise or a better deal on a new refrigerator.
  1. Patience. You might want to pounce on any opportunity, but sometimes patience can truly be a virtue. Wait for just the right time to play your cards and you could see a much better payoff.
  2. Persistence. While sometimes being overly persistent can do you in, finding the right balance between drive and stalking can be a great way to get what you want. Showing whomever you’re negotiating with that you’re serious about what you want can really help your case.
  3. Research. The more you know, the greater advantage you’ll have in a negotiation situation. Whether you’re buying a car, trying to get a job, asking for a raise or just about anything else, knowledge is power.
  4. Split the Difference. No matter whom it favors more, this negotiation tactic appears fair and may help to seal the deal. It works best when used in conjunction with other methods, like anchoring or legitimacy.
  5. Be in demand. Letting it slip that you’re considering other offers can help make businesses more eager to hire you or to bump up your salary.
  6. The Innocent Question. No questions in a negotiation are innocent. All can be used to glean information that can help tip the negotiation in favor of one party over another. So, ask away. It’ll make you seem friendlier, keep things running smoothly and make you smarter.
  7. Never Make the First Offer. In most situations, you don’t want to be the one making the first offer – it could garner you less than you might have gotten otherwise. Stick it out until you’re forced to ask.
  8. Ask for More. Want to get the best deal? Always ask for more than you actually want or are willing to settle for.
  9. Accentuate the Positive. One great way to approach a negotiation is by knowing both the strong and weak points of your side. Accentuate the good stuff while putting little emphasis on the bad. For instance, if you’re selling a house, focus on the big pool in the backyard, not the proximity to the airport.
  10. Strong and silent. It might seem counterintuitive, but sometimes the best thing you can do for your negotiations is to sit down and shut up. Silence can make people nervous and uneasy and much more willing to please.
  11. The Trade Off. Here you’ll find a tactic that works because it appears to be very fair and even-handed. In it, both parties agree to make concessions– but each without really knowing the true value of what they’re conceding.
  12. Ignoring No. In most cases, ignoring it when someone says “no” can get you in big trouble, but in negotiations it’s sometimes understood that no really means maybe, under the right circumstances. To counter no, you’ll need to react by asking the other party to tell you about it and lay out just where they stand. It forces them to play their hand and could let you actually negotiate a better deal.
  13. Stalling. Delaying and stalling negotiations can work if you’re trying to wear down the other side and get them to give in just to be done with the whole affair.
  14. Aristotle’s Appeals. Your powers of persuasion will be much stronger when you employ these three: ethos, pathos and logos. In English, that means appeal to ethics and reputation, emotion, or logic.
If you’re looking to buy, no matter if it’s a big or small purchase, consider these methods of negotiation.
  1. Take up their time. The more time you take up when someone is trying to sell you something, the more they’ll want to ensure that you don’t walk away.
  2. Be reluctant. Always make it seem as if you’re just looking and you’re not ready to buy yet. If you let on you’re ready to make a purchase, prices may go up.
  3. Bracket. When you’re negotiating, you likely have a place where you want to end up. To use this method, make a counteroffer that averages out with the initial offer right at where you want to be.
  4. Walk Away. Sometimes all it takes to seal the deal is to walk away. Once the seller knows you’re willing to give it up, they may be more willing to negotiate.
  5. The Wince. A wince or flinch will physically show your displeasure with a particular deal– just don’t overdo it. Follow it up with a bit of silence and things could be uncomfortable– and that’s just what you want. This method works with both ends of the deal, so watch out.
  6. Nibbling. When trying to get the best deal, sometimes you can still negotiate even after the main part is settled. These small nibbles seem like little concessions, but can really add up.
  7. Big Favor, Little Favor. In this situation, you’ll make an outrageous request for a concession. It will, of course, be denied. Then you’ll make a much smaller request, which was your intention all along, which will seem much fairer, and is more likely to be accepted in comparison with your previous request.
  8. The Calculated Blow-Up. While it won’t work in all situations where you’ll be negotiating, sometimes a fake blow-up can get you what you want. Whether that’s a refund from a store or a better deal with a seller, that’s up to you.
  9. Do Better. This tactic involves simply asking the other party to do better than what they’re offering. If they can’t, you’ll have to walk away.
  10. Low Key. It can be helpful not to appear too enthusiastic during business negotiations. You want to have something to hold back and not let on how much you really want to make the deal.
  11. The Red Herring. In a red herring situation, you’ll make a miniscule point of contention into something huge. This will distract from the concessions you’re really trying to get the other side to make, which will seem small now, in comparison to this huge other, actually unimportant issue that you’ve raised.
  12. Low-Balling. When you’re buying, make an offer so low you know it’ll never be accepted. Then, any other offer you make will seem much more reasonable.
If you’re on the selling end, then these negotiation tactics may suit your needs better and help you make the most from any deal.
  1. Pre-conditioning. You can start using this tactic before you even meet with the other party by laying out your terms before he or she even has a chance to think about a counter-move.
  2. Anchoring. Studies have shown that when people are torn when making an uncertain decision, they tend to anchor on certain information. You can use this to your advantage in your negotiations and set the tone of what will take place.
  3. Hot Potato. In this tactic, someone can take their problem and make it yours, or vice versa. If there’s a hitch in a deal, this tactic involves using it as a negotiation point, asking the other party to move in your direction to solve the problem.
  4. Higher Authority. To use this tactic, you’ll have to act as though you don’t have the final approval on whether or not to make a deal and will have to check with your partner, boss, etc. Of course, this higher authority won’t like the deal and will return with a counteroffer.
  5. Legitimacy. Find some outside sources to support your side of the negotiation, and whomever you’re negotiation with is bound to believe it. This bias can gain you a big advantage in any negotiation.
  6. The Withdrawn Offer. Want to trick the other party into thinking they’ve gotten an amazing deal? Use this ruse. Pretend to withdraw your offer because it’s too low or won’t work for you, and the other side is likely to pounce on it.
  7. The Other Buyer. Your buyer will be a little more motivated to negotiate if he or she is alerted to the presence of another buyer. If they really want what you’re selling, this tactic can score you a better deal and close it faster.
  8. Decoys. In this tactic, you’ll create something that you do not care about, but which you treat as if is very important. Then you’ll offer to give it up. It can help you get something you want without having to give up much of anything.
  9. Give it a human face. One way to get the better end of a deal is to make the other party feel connected to you. If they don’t want to hurt you, your business partners or your family then it’ll be a lot more difficult for them to play hardball with you.
  10. Good Guy, Bad Guy. If you’ve got a negotiation partner, you can try out this method. One of you will play the nice guy; the other will be a bit of a pill. The nice guy will close the deal after the not-so-nice guy blows up.
  11. Funny Money. You can help make big amounts of money seem piddling by dividing them out into costs per day. This tactic works because buyers will things the amount is small, but it will add up to a hefty sum in your pocket.
  12. The Trial Balloon. This tactic can work wonders when selling, because it lets you get clues about the other party’s plans without compromising your position or having to make a real commitment.
  13. The Presumptive Close. Asking a question that implies that a deal has already been made can help to push negotiations along. Dealing with issues like how payments will be made and trades completed can change the mindset of the other party.
  14. Puppy Dog Close. This sale is named after a technique used by pet store salespeople. It offers to let the other side try out the deal (or new pet) for a trial period. If they’re not happy, they can renege. It works because not only is the sale made by the negotiator but by the mechanics of the deal (or the pet) itself.
Special guest post by Rose King

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Parent Involvement in Schools Can Make a Difference

PTO and PTA: Join today!
Are there issues about your child's school that you are fed-up with?  Tired of hearing your child complain or even tired of the same lack of communication month after month?  This is not about any school specifically, however it is about parents finding the time to get involved in their schools and communities.

Does your school have a Parent Teacher Association (PTA) or a Parent Teacher Organization (PTO)?

Have you thought about joining it and can't find the time?

It is sort of like voting, if you don't vote, you really can't complain.

It is a fact, many parents have limited time to volunteer or get involved, however with the increase in teen issues, bullying, cyberbullying, substance abuse, texting, truancy and  more, our communities need the support and help from the parents.  As a team, changes can be made.

Duval County Council PTA is a group of local PTAs orangized under the authority of the Florida PTA. Local PTAs join the Council as a unit, not as individual members, and pay dues according to the Council bylaws. The Council president is a member of the Florida PTA Board of Directors. A County Council is the direct line of support and resource to the PTAs within its boundaries.

Whether you join or create a PTA or PTO here are 26 great tips for you to review and consider to build more involvement in your schools and communities.

Be an educated parent, be an involved parent - you will have safer and healthier kids!

Read more.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Teen Failing in School - Bad Choices - Great Kids: Parent Help

The first semester of school is over, now we are on to the final few months - and your teen is debating whether they "want" to finish school?  Excuse me - you mean teens have options?

Believe it or not, yes they do!  In Florida, at the age of 16 your teen can sign themselves out of school - of course they need your consent, however if you don't, truancy charges will linger.

Now what?  Virtual school? Homeschooling? GED?  Who would have thought - generations prior graduating high school was  never an option.  Today is a new world.

Who is in control?
Let's compound this and you suspect or know your teen is using drugs, drinking and seriously mom, it's no big deal?!  Really?

Now they develop an attitude of defiance, start sneaking out, completely disrespectful to your home and your boundaries.....

You find this is getting out-of-control and you realize that you have a limited time to get them help since at the age of 18 you no longer have control.

After exhausting all your local resources, therapy, outpatient programs, support groups - and some even send their teen to a relatives to live, you soon realize you need to take that big step - residential therapy.

You jump online after the sticker shock you find all these disturbing websites about all these so-called teen help programs, you find former students, disgruntled parents (which I was one at one time), as well as enough negative information you stop in your tracks.

I get it - I have been there -I fell for the fraud online - I won a major jury trial proving our experiences were true - even with our horrific experiences,  I still believe parents need  options.

Some of the wealthier ones will  hire an Educational Consultant, believing they are safe with these professionals.  Well, chances are good - you are safe, but are you being spun in the EC Shuffle?  Yes, that is a name some of us call it - they seem to have a cookie-cutter program design - Most clients start in Wilderness (and I can name the top 3 most EC's give out) then they go on to a longer term program.

Hmmm.... why not start and finish at the same place?  Why not find a solid 6-9-12 month program that offers consistency?

Most EC's or programs associated with Wilderness Programs will tell you that the time in the wilderness will break your child down?  Really, I am sure it will - but isn't our teen already broken if we are seeking this help?  Isn't  it time to start working towards building them back up by working through their issues?

Great advice, read today
My best advice to parents is to know this decision to find residential therapy is one of the most difficult many parents need to make.  You should take it lightly or make the decision when you are in crisis.  If you see the road getting bumpy - do your  homework early - so when that urgency hits, you are ready.

Also know this is not about "shipping off" your teen - it is about giving them a second opportunity at a bright future - after all, if you let things continue to escalate - what will be the ending?

My next post will have some hints to finding safe and quality programs.  My experiences and sound opinions - they may be criticized by some - but at the end of the day, I am a parent that has been right where you are, at your wit's end.

For more information visit and checkout the hints and tips there!

Need to learn more about transport services (yes, another step you will hear about) - click here.

More to come....

Monday, January 10, 2011

Overweight Teens, Teen Obesity and Teen Help

Girls and boys enjoy feeling better by healthy eating
Over the past 20 years, clinical obesity among children and adolescents (defined as 95+ percentile body mass index on a growth chart) has skyrocketed from 6% to 15%. This makes overweight teens and teen obesity the most common chronic illness in pediatrics. To provide a sense of the magnitude of the opportunity, the prevalence of eating disorders is only 0.3%.

Although pediatric and adolescent obesity is most common in lower socio-economic groups, it is prevalent at all income levels, including in upper-income families. In 1995, 2.9% of households in the top 5% of income had obese children or adolescents. The number has certainly risen over the past 8 years.
The cause of this epidemic is entirely behavioral: high-calorie diets and insufficient exercise.

The direct effects of pediatric and adolescent obesity are clear and well established:
  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus (formerly adult onset diabetes)
  • Hypertension and predisposition for cardiac disease
  • Sleep apnea
  • Asthma
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Pancreatitis
  • Eye diseases
  • Nerve damage
  • Various gastrointestinal disorders
  • Various skeletal and orthopedic problems
  • 80% increase in incidence of obesity in adulthood
  • Obesity in adulthood likely to be more severe with earlier onset of co-morbidities
Source:  Overweight Teen

Wellspring Florida
Wellspring Florida is the first and only scientifically-based summer fitness and weight loss camp in St. Petersburg Florida, and one of the most effective weight loss programs in the world.
MTV just launched their new show, "I Used to Be Fat". The show will follow teens during the summer after high school as they work to lose weight and transform themselves before entering college.  As with many of today's reality shows, this is a topic that can be sensitive, difficult, however extremely necessary to talk about and address.

Be an educated parent, you will have healthier teens.

Watch the video on to learn more about Wellspring summer for your overweight teens.

Read more.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Teen Dating Abuse - Teen Dating Violence: Tornado Warning!

Raising teenagers may feel as if you are going through a tornado and hurricane combined.  However on a very serious note, teens need guidance, assurance, security and most of all - trust from their parents.

That may sound like a lot, however with today's society of peer pressure and technology, it is important we talk to our kids about a variety of sensitive subjects. 

One of them is dating.

When your teen has become of age that you permit them to date, are they aware of what is acceptable and what isn't?

Teen dating violence is very real and happens more than parents know about.  Saying that it would never happen to your child is being completely niave.  Being educated and prepared can prevent teen dating abuse.
Newly released is Tornado Warning: A Memoir of Teen Dating Violence by Elin Stebbins Waldal.  This powerful true story not only can help parents and teens to better understand the effects of teen dating abuse, it also allows the readers to understand that if you are a victim of it, you can rise above it.

Warning Signs 

While the following non-specific warning signs could indicate other concerning things such as depression or drug use, these should also raise a red flag for parents and adult caregivers about the possibility of an unhealthy relationship:

•no longer hanging out with his/her circle of friends
•wearing the same clothing
•distracted when spoken to
•constantly checking cell phone, gets extremely upset when asked to turn phone off
•withdrawn, quieter than usual
•angry, irritable when asked how they are doing
•making excuses for their boyfriend/girlfriend
•showering immediately after getting home
•unexplained scratches or bruises

How do you know if your teen is ready to date?
Pre-order your copy of Tornado Warning today.

Learn more at Love is Not Abuse.  In St. Johns County, The Betty Griffin House is for victims of domestic abuse and violence.

Be an educated parent, you will have safer teens!

Read more.