Thursday, January 26, 2012

Tough love, family conflict.... Parenting teens is not always easy

Family conflict.....
Raising teens today can be contentious and get your blood pressure boiling.  The lack of respect towards parents and most authority is very disturbing in today’s society.  I often say the sense of entitlement issue can be a large cause of today’s defiant teens.  Either way, parents are struggling with kids that are literally holding parents hostage in their own homes.

Are you looking for residential therapy for your at-risk teenager?

Are they a good teen making bad choices?  You don't want to place them in a school or program that has a hard-cord element, a type of teen that will actually create more negative issues.

After all, your teen is highly intelligent, was once a rising athlete, interested in sports, music or other clubs at school or even in your community.  Now they are hanging out with less than desirable peers and have become someone you don't even recognize.

You hop on the Internet, as most 2012 parents do and start typing in all sort of key words - and before you know it - you are bombarded with all sorts of programs and schools and "sales reps" that seem to have answers - or so you think.

This is when you need to step back and understand that YES, you do need help, you do need an intervention and you do need to remove your teen from their environment enable to get them the help they need.  Let's face it, therapy isn't working anymore - if you can even get them to attend.

My mantra has been - learn from my mistakes when I wen through this.  Read - - and you will see you need to take your time.  It is not to scare you - it is to educate you.

Here are a few tips to remember:
  • Look for programs that are not attached to "sales reps".  You want to speak directly to an owner or director.  Someone that has a vested interest in your teen.  Someone that their reputation will be reflected on your child's success (or lack of).  Someone who you can hold accountable through the duration of your teen's stay.  
  • Look for the ACE factor.  A=Academics - Always ask for a copy of their accreditation for education - be sure it is transferable back to where you live.  C=Clinical - Be sure the clinical staff is credentialed. E=Enrichment programs - These are critical to be sure your teen is stimulated in a positive direction to want to make better choices.  This isn't about breaking your child down, it is about building them up.
  • Ask for parent references of parents with the same gender and age of your own teenager.  Also take it a step further.  Ask for families that are in your same geographical area.  This way maybe you will be able to meet with them and possibly even the graduate of the program you are considering.
  • Keep in mind - Short term programs - short term results.  Don't get sucked into them.  
I have many more tips and offer free parent consultation at  

Don't reach your wit's end and make a rash decision - made an education choice.... Be an educated parent - this a major emotional and financial decision.
Join me on Facebook  and follow me on Twitter for more information and educational articles on parenting today’s teenagers.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Are You Raising Strong Children or Broken Adults?

Guest post by Parent Expert, Aurelia Williams:

Fredrick Douglas once said “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.“   I don’t think that there is a caring mother out there that doesn’t want to see her child grow up to be a strong adult.  Throughout childhood, there are many circumstances that arise that can either build the child up or tear him down. Over the years and throughout these circumstances, your child can either grow into an assertive, strong adult or an adult that is timid, broken and weak.

The world is filled with many influences that will be presented to your child that you will have little or no control over and those influences can affect your child.  Children develop attitudes toward themselves and others as a direct response to the words, actions and the beliefs that people communicate to them.  What do your words and beliefs say to your child?    If you want your child to grow up to be strong, secure adult, you must give him a firm foundation.

As a mom, it’s perfectly natural to want to stand up for and protect your child, but there are ways that this can go too far.   Many moms don’t want to see their child struggle with problems or fight battles with their peers, so those moms take it upon themselves to fight their children’s battles for them.  While they may think that they are helping their child, they are actually crippling them and making them weaker in the long run.    If moms keep jumping in to fight their kids battles, their children will grow up to be broken, weak adults.
It is important to know when and how to step up to or away from battles that our children face.

It is the parents’ job to assist children as they navigate through all the twists and turns that life is filled with.  That means we must teach them how to handle problems and they must practice what we teach.

Here are a few steps you can take to raise strong children:

Set a great example – Children will copy you. Just as sure as a child can act out or repeat all of the negative things parents do, they will do the same with the positive things as well. If you want your child to be strong and assertive, be sure that you stand up for your beliefs and views, even if it means going against the grain a bit.
Positive Words and Praise – Positive words go a long way.  Be sure to let your child know that you value people who speak their mind respectfully.  Praise your child when you witness them exhibiting strong, respectful behavior.  This works wonders to boost up their confidence.
Don’t Sugar Coat - Be honest with your child about the difficult issues they may face!  Break things down to your child’s level so that they understand the hard issues.  Talk openly to your child about the possible battles they may face.  When it comes to the issue of peer pressure, help them to come up with ways to combat it.  Use real life examples and role play in order to get the point across.
This issue of supplying our children with the tools that they need to be assertive, well adjusted and confident is important.  The end result is that if you don’t learn when and how to step back, your child will not be prepared for the bigger issues that he or she will face as they grow up.

Aurelia Williams
About the author:
Aurelia Williams, owner of  Parenting My Teen has organized a totally free coaching class where she will share strategies with you that will help you know when and how to step into or step back from the battles your kids face.  It is totally free and is chock full of useful information that you can use immediately!  Sign up and perhaps there will be just one less weak, broken adult in the world because of it.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Horizon Academy Red River Academy - Specialty Boarding Schools or Not?

Searching, surfing and more confused!
"I have been on the Internet for days and even more confused than ever!"
"How do I know who to trust?" 
"They say we should just trust them?"
"Should we?"
"I just know we can't go on like this!!!!"

Troubled teens, teen help, struggling teens, at-risk teens, problem teens, difficult teens, boot camps, military schools, behavior modification, specialty schools, specialty programs, teen help programs, boarding schools, residential treatment centers, residential therapy, emotional growth programs, therapeutic boarding schools, wilderness programs, defiant teens, manipulative teens, disengaged from the family, family conflict, hopelessness, WIT’S END….

You have about reached your wit’s end when you are searching the web and typing in about every keyword you believe describes what you think you are looking for.  Glorified websites appear – maybe some not so beautiful, maybe you want a Christian setting, maybe you think a good boot camp or have that traditional thinking of an old fashioned military school…. however you will soon realize this isn’t 50 years ago.  There are legitimate residential therapeutic schools today and it is a parent job to do their research to be sure they find a safe and quality program that fits their individual needs.

After hours – days – even weeks (I have actually spoken to parents that have spent months) on the Internet, sometimes the confusion can deepen, which is why I did create Parents’ Universal Resource Experts.
With this – I am only sharing my own experiences…. and it has to do with the affiliated programs with the title of this Blog….

Are you confused yet? Looking for teen help and realizing this is a BIG BUSINESS?

So, your teen is driving your crazy.  You are at your wit’s end. You have finally decided you need outside help. You have exhausted all your local resources.  Local therapy doesn’t help, heck, you can’t even get your teen to attend.  Your teen is failing in school, he/she is very smart yet doesn’t want to attend school and believe they know it all.  Many say, “typical teen“, but as a parent, we know it is more than that.
Where did our good kid go?  Good kids making bad choices – and they don’t need to be placed in an environment that will make them worse in my opinion – learn from what happened to me!

As a victim of the WWASPS organization – I am often called or receive many emails about our (my daughter and I) experiences with them.  Obviously not pleasant.  Though I am happy to say the program she was at, Carolina Springs Academy, which attempted to go through a name change to Magnolia Christian Academy (or School) depending on the day you Googled it, is finally closed – it has been rumored some of the staff is now at their affiliate program – Red River Academy.

Let me be clear for legal purposes – these are rumors – but if I were placing my child in program, I personally wouldn’t take any chances – and furthermore, Red River Academy is clearly named in the current lawsuit which is extremely disturbing with allegations of fraud, abuse, neglect and much more – (click here) that is current.

Then we come to Horizon Academy.  Another alleged WWASPS facility.  Why say alleged?  Maybe they will deny they are affiliated – yet look at their staff, again, you will see they were once employed at other WWASPS programs.  Jade Robinson was at the program in Mexico (named in that lawsuit with alleged abuse and neglect) Casa By the Sea, then went on to Bell Academy, which didn’t last long, and I assume is trying to continue at Horizon Academy.

So when the “sales rep” tells you that “Sue Scheff” is a disgruntled parent – I say – YES, I was – you put my daughter in a box for 17 hours, she was mentally and emotionally abused – food and sleep deprived – I was complete defrauded – and she also missed out on 6 months of education.  None of which I had signed up for.  Grant it, this was 10 years ago – a lot has changed – but those original owners haven’t – so in my humble opinion – I wouldn’t trust any of their programs with my pets….. BTW: I am the only parent to have defeated WWASPS in a jury trial.  

Most of the other (many) lawsuits have settled out of court with silence agreements.  I don’t have one, which is why I can still share my story – which is why I get slimed online – which is why their sales reps have all sorts of stories about me – including “the jury made a mistake” – neglecting to tell you I won the appellate court too.  No one condones child abuse – period.

I have been called a crusader (and not in a flattering way) though I take it that way.  I have made it my mission to find the better programs and schools, since I do know what it is like to be at your wit’s end.  I know what parents need help. I am not against residential therapy, which brings us to many  of my stalkers that were formally abused in programs that believe all programs should be closed down.  That is being extreme – they are not a parent trying to save their child’s life and future.

I will share with you that there are more safe and quality programs than there are bad ones – it is just about doing your homework and research.  Today you are more fortunate than I was – you have more access to information and you can learn from my mistakes and  my knowledge.

Please – take 10 minutes to read my story and see the list of programs that are and were once affiliated with Carolina Springs Academy – and from there, you make your own choices for your child.

I had one parent that almost went to Red River Academy that actually said the sales rep said they could have their teen “extracted” within a few hours?  Extracted?  Really – is your child a tooth?  Please don’t get rushed into a quick decision – this is a major emotional and financial decision.

My organization is Parents’ Universal Resource Experts – and no matter what those “sales reps” or the Internet fiction – I don’t own, operate or manage any schools or programs!  We are about educating parents when they are looking for help for their at risk teen…. Don’t get scammed when you are at your wit’s end.

Oh – and when these “sales reps” send out these defamatory links about me – another FACT they neglect to tell you is I won the landmark case for Internet Defamation that awarded me $11.3M in damages for what was said about me online!  Lies and twisted facts!  Here is my recent appearance on Anderson Cooper.

This is strictly my opinion on my own experiences – you are free to make your choices…

Friday, January 6, 2012

Troubled Teens and Getting Help

Do any of these labels sound familiar?
  • Truancy (Excessive Absences) 
  • Multiple Suspension/Detentions
  • Expulsion 
  • Academic Failure/Grades Dropping - Underachiever
  • Social Withdrawal - Isolating themselves
  • Poor Decision Making 
  • Peer Relationship Problems; Fights; Arguments 
  • Choosing the Wrong Peer Group
  • Defiant/Anger/Violent/Rage/Rebellious - Conduct Disorder
  • Confrontational Behavior/Acting Out 
  • Refusal to accept Accountability for their Actions 
  • Depression/Bipolar/Oppositional Defiance Disorder 
  • Involvement in Cult Activities - Gang Activity

    Does any of the above sound familiar? If so it may be time to start searching for healthy and safe alternative schools or programs.  Whether they are local or out of the area, after conferring with a school guidance counselor or therapist, you may determine that a different academic setting may benefit your child.

    Absences and Suspension Rates (or Incident reports) are useful indicators of student academic or behavioral problems. Most truancy and incident rates increase with grade levels. Another words, this will most likely escalate rather than go away if not addressed.

    Incidents rates are on the rise and school expulsion have increased, nearly doubled in the High Schools within the past three years. The zero tolerance rates may be attributed to this rise in numbers, however it is a clear indication that some teens are truly struggling and need outside help.  This is has to do with many factors:
    • Population Increase, which leads to overcrowding in the schools
    • Lack of ACCEPTANCE of our Cultural Diversity
    • Family Conflicts - Marital Issues (Divorce, Separation, etc.)
    • Stress and Anger Management Problems
    • Lack of Communication and the skills to communicate with Today's Teens.
    • Ineffective or Inconsistence Parenting/Discipline Strategies
    • Substance Abuse (Drugs and/or Alcohol)
    • Undiagnosed Learning Disabilities - ADD/ADHD/LD
    • Zero Tolerance Level at Schools
    Do you need to find out more?  Visit and ask for a free consultation.