Saturday, December 13, 2008

Sue Scheff: Parenting Teens - Wit's End!

Are you at your wit’s end?

Are you experiencing any of the following situations or feeling at a complete loss or a failure as a parent? You are not alone and by being a proactive parent you are taking the first step towards healing and bringing your family back together.

Is your teen escalating out of control?
Is your teen becoming more and more defiant and disrespectful?
Is your teen manipulative? Running your household?
Are you hostage in your own home by your teen’s negative behavior?
Is your teen angry, violent or rage outbursts?
Is your teen verbally abusive?
Is your teen rebellious, destructive and withdrawn?
Is your teen aggressive towards others or animals?
Is your teen using drugs and/or alcohol?
Does your teen belong to a gang?
Do they frequently runaway or leave home for extended periods of time?
Has their appearance changed – piercing, tattoo’s, inappropriate clothing?
Has your teen stopped participating in sports, clubs, church and family functions? Have they become withdrawn from society?
Is your teen very intelligent yet not working up to their potential? Underachiever? Capable of doing the work yet not interested in education.
Does he/she steal?
Is your teen sexually active?
Teen pregnancy?
Is your teen a good kid but making bad choices?
Undesirable peers? Is your teen a follower or a leader?
Low self esteem and low self worth?
Lack of motivation? Low energy?
Mood Swings? Anxiety?
Teen depression that leads to negative behavior?
Eating Disorders? Weight loss? Weight gain?
Self-Harm or Self Mutilation?
High School drop-out?
Suspended or Expelled from school?
Suicidal thoughts or attempts?
ADD/ADHD/LD/ODD?
Is your teen involved in legal problems? Have they been arrested?
Juvenile Delinquent?
Conduct Disorder?
Bipolar?
Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD)?

Does your teen refuse to take accountability and always blame others for their mistakes?

Do you feel hopeless, helpless and powerless over what options you have as a parent? Are you at your wit’s end?


Does any of the above sound familiar? Many parents are at their wit’s end by the time they contact us, but the most important thing many need to know is you are not alone. There is help but the parent needs to be proactive and educate themselves in getting the right help.



Many try local therapy, which is always recommended, but in most cases, this is a very temporary band-aid to a more serious problem. One or two hours a week with a therapist is usually not enough to make the major changes that need to be done.

If you feel you are at your wit’s end and are considering outside resources, please contact us. http://www.helpyourteens.com/free_information.shtml An informed parent is an educated parent and will better prepare to you to make the best decision for your child. It is critical not to place your child out of his/her element. In many cases placing a teen that is just starting to make bad choices into a hard core environment may cause more problems. Be prepared – do your homework.

Many parents are in denial and keep hoping and praying the situation is going to change. Unfortunately in many cases, the problems usually escalate without immediate attention. Don’t be parents in denial; be proactive in getting your teen the appropriate help they may need. Whether it is local therapy or outside the home assistance, be in command of the situation before it spirals out of control and you are at a place of desperation. At wit’s end is not a pleasant place to be, but so many of us have been there.

Finding the best school or program for your child is one of the most important steps a parent does. Remember, your child is not for sale – don’t get drawn into high pressure sales people, learn from my mistakes. Read my story at www.aparentstruestory.com for the mistakes I made that nearly destroyed my daughter.

In searching for schools and programs we look for the following:
· Helping Teens - not Harming them
· Building them up - not Breaking them down
· Positive and Nurturing Environments - not Punitive
· Family Involvement in Programs - not Isolation from the teen
· Protect Children - not Punish them

Monday, December 8, 2008

Sue Scheff: Parenting At Risk and Depressed Teens


It stems back to “children need to have their self-esteem built up to make good decisions.” Today most families are either single parent or both parents are working full time. This is not the fault of the teen, nor is it the fault of the parents. It is today’s world and we must try to find the middle. Troubled teens, rebellious teens, angry teens, problem teens, difficult teens, peer pressure, depressed teens; unfortunately are part of the society of adolescents today.Communication is always the first to go when people get busy. We have seen this over and over again. We have also experienced it and feel that our children shut us out; this can lead to difficult teens and teens with problems. Although we are tired and exhausted, along with the stress of today’s life, we need to stop and take a moment for our kids.


Talk and LISTEN to them. Ask lots of questions, get to know their friends and their friend’s parents, take part in their interests, be supportive if they are having a hard time, even if you can’t understand it; be there for them.This all sounds so easy and so simple, but take it from parents that have walked this path, it is not easy. When a parent works a full day, has stress from the job along with household chores, not to mention the bills, it is hard to find that moment. We are all guilty of neglect at one time or another after all, we are only human and can only do so much. We feel the exhaustion mounting watching our teens grow more out of control, yet we are too tired to address it.


Out of control teens can completely disrupt a family and cause marriages to break up as well as emotional breakdowns.We know many feel it is just a stage, and with some, it may be. However most times it does escalate to where we are today. Researching for help; Parents’ Universal Resource Experts is here for you, as we have been where you are today.


Do you have a difficult teen, struggling teen, defiant teen, out of control teen, rebellious teen, angry teen, depressed teen? Do you feel hopeless, at your wits end?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Sue Scheff - Parenting Teens

Sue Scheff – Founder of Parents’ Universal Resource Experts and Author of Wit’s End! Advice and Resources for Saving Your Out-Of-Control Teen
Offers 10 Parenting Quick Tips


1. Communication: Keeping the lines of communication of your child should be a priority with all parents. It is important to let your kids know you are always there for them no matter what the subject is. If there is a subject you are not comfortable with, please be sure your child has someone they can open up to. I believe that when kids keep things bottled up, it can be when negative behaviors can start to grow.

2. Knowing your Children’s Friends: This is critical, in my opinion. Who are your kids hanging out with? Doing their homework with? If they are spending a lot of time at a friends house, go out of your way to call the parent introduce yourself. Especially if they are spending the night at a friends house, it important to take time to call the parents or meet them. This can give you a feeling of security knowing where your child is and who they are with.


3. Know your Child’s Teachers – Keep track of their attendance at school: Take time to meet each teacher and be sure they have your contact information and you have theirs if there are any concerns regarding your child. In the same respect, take time to meet your child’s Guidance Counselor.

4. Keep your Child Involved: Whether it is sports, music, drama, dance, and school clubs such as chess, government, school newspaper or different committees such as prom, dances and other school activities. Keeping your child busy can keep them out of trouble. If you can find your child’s passion – whether it is football, soccer, gymnastics, dance, music – that can help keep them focused and hopefully keep them on track in school.


5. Learn about Internet Social Networking: In today’s Cyber generation this has to be a priority. Parents need to help educate their kids on Cyber Safety – think before they post, help them to understand what they put up today, may haunt them tomorrow. Don’t get involved with strangers and especially don’t talk about sex with strangers. Avoid meeting in person the people you meet online without you being there. On the same note – cell phone and texting – don’t allow your child to freely give out their cell numbers and never post them online. Parents should consider ReputationDefender/MyChild to further help protect their children online.

6. Encourage your teen to get a job or volunteer: In today’s generation I think we need to instill responsibility and accountability. This can start early by encouraging your teen to either get a job or volunteer, especially during the summer. Again, it is about keeping them busy, however at the same time teaching them responsibility. I always tell parents to try to encourage their teens to get jobs at Summer Camps, Nursing Homes, ASPCA, Humane Society or places where they are giving to others or helping animals. It can truly build self esteem to help others.


7. Make Time for your Child: This sounds very simple and almost obvious, but with today’s busy schedule of usually both parents working full time or single parent households, it is important to put time aside weekly (if not daily at dinner) for one on one time or family time. Today life is all about electronics (cell phones, Ipods, Blackberry’s, computers, etc) that the personal touch of actually being together has diminished.

8. When Safety trumps privacy: If you suspect your teen is using drugs, or other suspicious behaviors (lying, defiance, disrespectful, etc) it is time to start asking questions – and even “snooping” – I know there are two sides to this coin, and that is why I specifically mentioned “if you suspect” things are not right – in these cases – safety for your child takes precedence over invading their privacy. Remember – we are the parent and we are accountable and responsible for our child.


9. Are you considering outside treatment for your child? Residential Therapy is a huge step, and not a step that is taken lightly. Do your homework! When your child’s behavior escalates to a level of belligerence, defiance, substance abuse or God forbid gang relations – it may be time to seek outside help. Don’t be ashamed of this – put your child’s future first and take steps to get the help he/she needs – immediately, but take your time to find the right placement. Read Wit’s End! for more information.

10. Be a parent FIRST: There are parents that want to be their child’s friend and that is great – but remember you are a parent first. Set boundaries – believe it not kids want limits (and most importantly – need them). Never threaten consequences you don’t plan on following through with.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Mark Peterson, Teen Help, Lisa Irvin, Jane Hawley, Carolina Springs Academy, Darrington Academy, Academy at Ivy Ridge, WWASPS, Premier Educational Sys

Are you considering any of the following programs for your child? Take a moment to read my experiences - http://www.aparentstruestory.com/ as well as my book where you can hear my daughter's experiences for the first time - order today at http://www.witsendbook.com/ .

Choosing a program is not only a huge emotional decision, it is a major financial decision - do your homework! Learn from my mistakes - Gain from my knowledge!

Academy of Ivy Ridge, NY (withdrew their affiliation with WWASPS)
Ally Schools - Marketing Arm - Jane Hawley
Canyon View Park, MT
Camas Ranch, MT
Carolina Springs Academy, SC
Cross Creek Programs, UT (Cross Creek Center and Cross Creek Manor)
Darrington Academy, GA
Help My Teen, UT (Adolescent Services Adolescent Placement) Promotes and markets these programs.
Gulf Coast Academy, MS
Horizon Academy, NV
Lisa Irvin (Helpmyteen)
Lifelines Family Services, UT (Promotes and markets these programs) Jane Hawley
Mark Peterson - Teen Help Marketing Arm
Majestic Ranch, UT
Midwest Academy, IA (Brian Viafanua, formerly the Director of Paradise Cove as shown on Primetime, is the current Director here)
Parent Teen Guide (Promotes and markets these programs)
Pillars of Hope, Costa Rica
Pine View Christian Academy (Borders FL, AL, MS)
Reality Trek, UT
Red River Academy, LA (Borders TX)
Respect Academy, NV
Royal Gorge Academy, CO (recently closed)
Spring Creek Lodge, MT
Teen Help, UT (Promotes and markets these programs)
Teens In Crisis
Tranquility Bay, Jamaica
Alert - rumor is that a new program is Mexico is opening soon.
ALERT - It is also rumored that there is a short-term program in or near Oceanside, CA - which may be connected with this organization.

Visit http://www.helpyourteens.com/ for more information.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Sue Scheff Talks to Global Talk Radio - Are you at your Wit's End?


Valerie Connelly speaks with Sue Scheff about her book, Wit's End "Resources for Saving Your OUT-OF-CONTROL TEEN," and Kathleen Duey, about her book, "My Animal Family." Also, Ramona Rubio joins to discuss her book, "The Alchemical Woman."
Listen here: http://www.globaltalkradio.com/shows/callingallauthors/

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Sue Scheff talks about Wit's End on Walking on Air


Betsy Brint and Sally Higginson are wives, mothers, sisters and friends. The two live five blocks from one another. Betsy is the mother of three; Sally is the mother of two. Their husbands are friends as well as brothers-in law. A large percentage of the time, Betsy and Sally consider themselves happily married. The remaining small percentage of time makes for lively radio.


Visit http://www.walkingonair.org/index.htm to listen and pick-up helpful tips on life today with families and parenting!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Sue Scheff - Wit's End! A Mother and Daughter's True Story


With peer pressure and social influences at all-time highs, many good teens are making bad choices, placing intense emotional and financial strain on parents and families. Lack of motivation, substance abuse, negative peers and gang affiliation are just some of the common challenges facing kids today.

To help address these and other issues, parent advocate Sue Scheff has announced the release of her new book, “Wit’s End: Advice and Resources for Saving Your Out-of-Control Teen.”

Scheff’s book chronicles her painful journey with a struggling teenage daughter and also offers advice, resources and help to mothers and fathers forced to make tough choices regarding their children.

“In the MySpace generation, kids are under more pressure than ever before,” says Scheff, author and founder of Parents’ Universal Resource Experts (P.U.R.E.), an organization that assists families with at-risk children.

“This book will be an invaluable resource and allow parents to learn from my past mistakes,” she adds.

As a single mother in the ‘90s, Scheff struggled to raise her teen daughter, who embraced disturbing friends, beliefs and behaviors. Ultimately, Scheff was forced to utilize a residential treatment facility as a way to instill discipline and structure.

What happened next was chilling -- stories of beatings, sexual abuse, forced starvation and neglect all surfaced from the very facility that was supposed to be protecting and rehabilitating Scheff’s daughter.

In the years following her ordeal, Scheff championed for safe alternatives for at-risk teens and began helping other parents who were facing similar challenges as she once did.

Published by Health Communications, Inc., “Wit’s End” is an extension of the assistance Scheff has been able to provide to families over the years.

“Parents need to know that they’re not alone,” says Scheff. “This book is a much-needed guide to avoid the pitfalls and will ultimately help expedite the healing process.”

For more information, visit http://www.witsendbook.com/.

About the Author
Sue Scheff is the founder of Parents’ Universal Resource Experts (http://www.helpyourteens.com/) and is a sought-after interviewee and speaker on topics such as Internet abuse, struggling teens, cyberbullying and defamation. She has been featured on 20/20, CNN Headline News, ABC News, Fox News, The Rachael Ray Show, Lifetime Television, NPR, BBC Talk Radio and has appeared in the USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Miami Herald and San Francisco Chronicle.

Friday, September 19, 2008

SUE SCHEFF - On South Florida Voices


Sue Scheff was on South Florida Voices and talked about her new book - Wit's End!

Hosted by Deborah Ally, South Florida Voices features in-depth analysisof issues affecting the lives of South Floridians.Recent shows have explored health care, personal financial planning, the arts and community resources.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Sue Scheff Shares Her Story when she was at her Wit's End!


Weston, Florida - Parent Sue Scheff knows all too well the frustrations of dealing with a troubled teen. Being a single mom was tough, but as daughter Ashlyn reached her teenage years, the problems became too much to handle. Bad decisions and difficult situations left Sue Scheff with no choice but to look to outside help for her troubled teen and salvation for strained family.What she didn’t know continues to haunt her. Seven years after her devastating travels through the teen help industry,Sue Scheff has become an advocate for safe alternatives and parent education. Through her organization, Parents Universal Resource Experts, Scheff has helped numerous families safely and successfully find help.



"Leap, and the net will appear!" Julia CameronListen to my new Radio Show, Journeys from the Heart...

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Sue Scheff Talks about Wit's End on Here's Help


I was honored to be a guest on the Y-100 Here's Help Radio Show talking about my new book, Wit's End! as well as parenting teens today.


About Here's Help, Inc.


Founded in 1968, Here’s Help has become one of Miami-Dade County’s premiere providers of residential and outpatient substance abuse treatment, annually serving 800 adolescents and young adults starting at the age of 13. Funded by local, state and federal contracts, Here’s Help has excelled as a substance abuse treatment provider and is lauded by the Departments of Corrections, Department of Juvenile Justice, Department of Children and Families (DCF), and Probation and Parole for its treatment, educational and preventive services.
Learn more at http://www.helpfl.com/ .

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Sue Scheff: Is Teen Pregnancy on the Rise?

Teenage Pregnancy

Every year approximately 750,000 teenage girls become pregnant in the United States. This is roughly 1/3 of the age group’s population, a startling fact. Worse, more than 2/3 of teens who become mother will not graduate high school. Many young teen girls that are suffering with low self worth or feelings of not being loved believe that having a baby will give them a purpose in life. Unfortunately they are not looking at the whole picture and the reality of raising a child.

These girls are not emotionally prepared to make such a major decision in their young life – yet many are in this situation. As a parent, we need to keep the lines of communication open, as hard as that is, it is necessary.

If you are parent who recently discovered that your teenage daughter is pregnant or may be pregnant, we understand your fear and pain. This is a difficult and very serious time in both of you and your daughter’s life.

No matter what happens, you and your daughter must work together to make the best choice for her and her unborn child. Your support and guidance is imperative as a parent. You can and will make it through this as a family.

For more information on Teen Pregnancy visit http://www.sue-scheff.org/ .

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Sue Scheff on ABC News - WPBF-TV


What a great experience to share my book, Wit's End! and story with Lisa Hayward at ABC News in West Palm Beach!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Sue Scheff: When you are at your wit's end - financing a road to recovery for your teen can be challenging


With today's struggling economy - compounded with the need to get our teens outside help, the costs can be staggering. Many lenders are no longer providing Educational Loans.
One Lender that is offering help to parents is Clark Custom Educational Loans - Visit http://www.customedloans.com/ for more information.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Parenting Your 18 Year Old Young Adult by Sue Scheff

“My 18 year old is out of control and I am at my wits end! What can I do?” – Anonymous Parent.


18 – 19 year old teens can be the most difficult to address simply because they are considered adults and cannot be forced to get help. As parents, we have limited to no control. Practicing “Tough Love” is easier said than done, many parents cannot let their child reach rock bottom – as parent’s, we see our child suffering – whether it is needing groceries or a roof over their head and it is hard to shut the door on them.

I think this is one of the most important reasons that if you are a parent of a 16-17 year old that is out of control, struggling, defiant, using drugs and alcohol, or other negative behavior – I believe it is time to look for intervention NOW. I am not saying it needs to be a residential treatment center or a program out of the home, but at least start with local resources such as therapists that specialize with adolescents and preferable offer support groups.

It is unfortunate that in most cases the local therapy is very limited how it can help your teen. The one hour once a week or even twice, is usually not enough to make permanent changes. Furthermore getting your defiant teen to attend sessions can sometimes cause more friction and frustrations than is already happening.

This is the time to consider outside help such as a Therapeutic Boarding School or Residential Treatment Center. However these parents with the 18-19 year olds have usually missed their opportunity. They were hoping and praying that at 16 – 17 things would change, but unfortunately, if not addressed, the negative behavior usually escalates.


In the past 8+ years I have heard from thousands of parents – and most are hoping to get their child through High School and will be satisfied with a GED. It is truly a sad society of today’s teens when many believe they can simply drop out of school. Starting as early as 14 years old, many teens are thinking this way and we need to be sure they know the consequences of not getting an education. Education in today’s world should be our children’s priority however with today’s peer pressure and entitlement issues, it seems to have drifted from education to defiance – being happy just having fun and not being responsible.

I think there are many parents that debate whether they should take that desperate measure of sending a child to a program and having them escorted there – but in the long run – you need to look at these parents that have 18-19 year olds that don’t have that opportunity. While you have this option, and it is a major decision that needs to be handled with the utmost reality of what will happen if things don’t change. The closer they are to 18 – the more serious issues can become legally. If a 17+ year old gets in trouble with the law, in many states they will be tried as an adult. This can be scary since most of these kids are good kids making very bad choices and don’t deserve to get caught up the system. As a parent I believe it is our responsible not to be selfish and be open to sending the outside of the home. It is important not to view this as a failure as a parent, but as a responsible parent that is willing to sacrifice your personal feelings to get your child the help they need.


At 18, it is unfortunate, these kids are considered adults - and as parents we basically lose control to get them the help they need. In some cases - if the teen knows they have no other alternatives and this is the only option the parents will support, they will agree to get outside help.

Visit www.helpyourteens.com for more information.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Michael Phelps Mom on How to Raise an ADHD Superstar

Source: www.ADDitudeMag.com

Meet the mothers of three ADHD super-achievers — an Olympic record-breaker, a TV heavyweight, and a world-class adventurer — and learn how they helped their kids beat the odds.

What does it take to succeed despite attention deficit disorder (ADD ADHD)? It takes hard work, for starters — a willingness to meet challenges head-on. It takes support from family members, teachers, therapists, and coaches. And, of course, it’s hard to overstate the benefits of ADHD medication.

But, of all the ingredients needed to make a happy, successful life, nothing is more important than good parenting. Behind almost every ADHD success story is a devoted parent (or two). In honor of mothers, let’s give credit where credit is due.The three mothers profiled here helped their sons and daughters achieve great things — more than they could have imagined. Steadfast and resourceful, they saw strength where others saw weakness, and kept looking for ways to help their children after others were ready to give up. Let their stories inspire you!

Read entire article here: http://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/1998.html

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Parents Universal Resource Experts (Sue Scheff) Teen Truancy - A Growing Concern

Truancy is a term used to describe any intentional unauthorized absence from compulsory schooling. Children in America today lose over five million days of their education each year through truancy. Often times they do this without the knowledge of their parents or school officials. In common usage the term typically refers to absences caused by students of their own free will, and usually does not refer to legitimate "excused" absences, such as ones related to a medical condition. It may also refer to students who attend school but do not go to classes. Because of this confusion many schools have their own definitions, and as such the exact meaning of the term itself will differ from school to school and district to district. In order to avoid or diminish confusion, many schools explicitly define the term and their particular usage thereof in the school's handbook of policies and procedures. In many instances truancy is the term referring to an absence associated with the most brazen student irresponsibility and results in the greatest consequences.

Many educators view truancy as something much more far reaching than the immediate consequence that missed schooling has on a student's education. Truancy may indicate more deeply embedded problems with the student, the education they are receiving, or both. Because of its traditional association with juvenile delinquency, truancy in some schools may result in an ineligibility to graduate or to receive credit for class attended, until the time lost to truancy is made up through a combination of detention, fines, or summer school. This can be especially troubling for a child, as failing school can lead to social impairment if the child is held back, economic impact if the child drops out or cannot continue his or her education, and emotional impact as the cycle of failure diminishes the adolescent's self-esteem.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Parents Universal Resource Experts (Sue Scheff) Stop Bullying Now!


So you're being bullied, huh? That can feel pretty awful. But, no matter how bad it makes you feel sometimes, you should know you're not alone. That's right ... there are plenty of kids all over the world who go through the same things you do every day. And, even though you may feel helpless sometimes, there are a lot of things you and others can do to help stop the bullying. Give these tips a try.

Always tell an adult. It's hard to talk about serious things with adults sometimes, but they can help put a stop to bullying. Tell an adult that you trust and can talk to—your parents, your teacher, your school counselor, your coach, your neighbor. If you've told a grown-up before and they haven't done anything about it, tell someone else. And if you're afraid to tell an adult that you have been bullied, get another person—like a friend or a sister or brother—to go with you. Having someone else there to support you can make it a lot less scary. Tell the adults exactly what has happened—who did the bullying, where and when it happened, how long it's been happening to you, and how it's making you feel. If you talk with an adult at your school, ask them what they will do to help stop the bullying. It is their job to help keep you safe. Most adults really care about bullying and will do everything they can to help you.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Why is My Child so Distressed?



By Jane Hersey
Author of "Why My Child Can't Behave"


Many things can lead to the development of behavior problems in children, and there are many ways to address them.

If the reasons for a child's problems stem from a family situation, interaction with peers, events at school, etc., then the place to look for resolution is clearly there. But if the child has always been hard to parent, the answers might be as close as your kitchen pantry. Here are some children whose families have found answers in their kitchen.

Joshua had a history of social and behavior problems and was expelled from several day care centers and private schools. He did not cope well in special classrooms with a ratio of six children and three teachers. His diagnoses included: severe ADHD, ODD (oppositional defiant disorder), OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder), Tourette syndrome and mood disorder syndrome. He was angry, aggressive, compulsive, threatening to kill others and himself, and nothing helped. The counseling, drugs, and even the psychiatric facility did not impact on his downward spiral.

Betsy was only 7 years old, but was haunted by thoughts of death; one of the pieces of art work she brought home from school was a black paper with three tombstones, bearing the initials of her parents and herself. She quietly planned on ways that she could end her life, which held no joy for her despite a loving family that desperately tried to help her.

Sean was expelled from preschool for his violent aggression and uncontrollable behavior. His family tried a therapeutic preschool, and he was at risk of being kicked out of a hospital treatment center because even they could not deal with this little boy's behavior. No amount of medicine controlled his “bi-polar behavior” and psychotic episodes, and his parents were told that Sean was “seriously mentally ill” and would require life-long support.

Frank had a history of violent behaviors and at age 17 it was only a matter of time before he would be incarcerated. But he heard about a special diet and decided he wanted to try it. His meeting with the doctor who was using this diet to help children like Frank, Sean, Betsy and Joshua meant flying from Tennessee to California. Because his mother was afraid of him, Frank's older brother accompanied him to visit with the doctor, Ben Feingold, who was chief of allergy at the Kaiser-Permanente Medical Center in California.

Dr. Feingold discovered that some of the many chemicals routinely added to foods have the ability to affect any system of the body, including the brain. When a child is predisposed to be sensitive to these chemicals, they can wreak havoc. In order for a brain to function well, there are many chemical and electrical processes that must work appropriately; in other words, a lot things have to “go right.” When you add in a potent chemical such as an illicit drug (or even a legal one) our brain chemistry can be dramatically affected. Our bodies handle food additives and drugs in a similar manner.

All of these children described above have stories with happy endings once the offending chemicals were identified and removed. Joshua is an outstanding young man who has won numerous honors in school, in sports, and is a leader in an Air Force program for future officers.

Betsy is a normal, happy girl, Frank is a successful adult and Sean has no remnants of any “permanent mental disorder.” In fact, his mom reports he has recently joined the church choir.

Our bodies are composed of the food we eat; this is where we obtain nutrients of all types, including essential fatty acids, trace minerals and the many vitamins a healthy human body requires. But more and more children are no longer consuming food. Instead they are existing on a diet of synthetic substances that do not deliver the needed components to keep bodies working well and keep our brains operating rationally. These so-called foods might look like real food, fooling our eyes. They might even taste like food, fooling out taste buds. But our bodies are not fooled and when they do not receive the nutrients they need in order to function, things begin to go wrong. In addition to the nutrients they do not receive children today are ingesting a chemical stew of foodless ingredients, many of which are derived from crude oil (petroleum).

Dr. Feingold's experience with troubled children showed that there are a few food additives that appear to be the worst offenders, and removing them brought about significant – often dramatic – changes in behavior, mood, and the ability to focus and learn. These additives include synthetic food dyes (such as Yellow 5 and Red 40); they are created from crude oil, and most of the dyes added to our food start out in petroleum refineries in China. Common preservatives, artificial flavors and even fragrances typically are created from petroleum; rose petals no longer are the source of those pretty scents!

The Feingold diet has been helping families for decades, and the non-profit Feingold Association continues to offer information and support to those who want to learn more. Parent volunteers show others how they can find the foods they enjoy, but minus the unwanted additives; most of them are available at neighborhood supermarkets. See www.feingold.org .

In addition to removing the offensive additives, researchers have found the many benefits of adding supplements to nutrient-starved bodies.

Researchers at Oxford University have shown that the behavior of young male prisoners calmed down when their diet was supplemented with a combination of vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids (EFAs). Other British research has shown the dramatic benefits of the EFAs, including help for children with ADHD and autism. In the US EFA research has been ongoing at Purdue University for many years.

When nourishing food was given to teens in juvenile detention facilites the improved behavior was documented. And when the Appleton Alternative High School in Wisconsin switched from the usual school food to fresh, healthy food, the behavior problems evaporated and learning improved.

Another risk factor for children with behavior and learning problems.

The drugs that are generally given to children with these problems offer additional concerns. While they may bring about improvements, they are not risk-free. The Food and Drug Administration now requires ADHD drugs to carry warning labels that some children might have reactions that include:

psychotic behavior, depression, suicidal thoughts, hallucinations, violence, as well as a host of health effects including cancer, liver damage, strokes and heart attacks.

Risk factors with antidepressants and related drugs

Psychotropic drugs are routinely given to children who are diagnosed as depressed, bi-polar, etc., and these also carry warnings that side effects can include depression and violent behaviors. It can be difficult to sort out whether a behavior is originating within the child or is a side effect of some of the medications he is taking. The fact that all of these drugs are now being given to children who are still infants raises many red flags. Who knows what long-term effects they will have?

While it's comforting to think that only a minority of children experience the most dangerous reactions, the number of children now being medicated means that a minority can be a very large number of children. (It has been estimated that 10% of all 10-year-old boys in the United States are now on drugs for ADHD.)

A new awareness in Europe

The scientific evidence for the harm caused by petroleum-based food dyes is now so compelling that the British government is seeking to ban them and the European Parliament has voted to require warning labels on foods that contain them. While dyes are not the only additives that can cause adverse reactions, they are the most notorious, the easiest to replace, and offer no value to the consumer.

So, for the child whose behavior has gone over the edge, or if you worry that your youngster is on this path, one simple change that you can implement with no risk, very little cost, and relatively small effort, is to replace those mixes, cookies, candies, sodas, and fast food with nearly-identical versions that are free of the worst of the additives. And while you're at it, try eating the good food yourself; every parent needs to have their brain cells working at optimum levels as they deal with that temporary insanity called “adolescence.”

Monday, July 21, 2008

Sue Scheff: Are Your At Your Wit's End?

P.U.R.E. is based on reality - especially with today's teen society of technology including MySpace and other Internet concerns for children. Today we are educating children at much younger ages about substance abuse, sex, and more. The latest wave of music and lyrics, television, and movies help to contribute to generate a new spin on this age group. This leads to new areas of concern for parents.

We recognize that each family is different with a variety of needs. P.U.R.E. believes in creating Parent Awareness to help you become an educated parent in the teen help industry. We will give you a feeling of comfort in a situation that can be confusing, stressful, frustrating, and sometimes desperate.

Desperate? Confused? Stressed? Anxious? Helplessness? Frustrated? Scared? Exhausted? Fearful? Alone? Drained? Hopelessness? Out of Control? At Wit's End?...

www.helpyourteens.com
www.witsendbook.com
www.suescheff.com

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Sue Scheff Launches Wit's End!

From the same publishers that brought you the Chicken Soup for the Soul book series, now offers you "Wit's End!"

My story if filled with inspiration and hope as well as offers parents and people that work with today's pre-teens and teens, advice and resources for today's struggling teens.

The response has been overwhelming since we launched the book! I am very proud of my daughter who spoke for the first time publicly in Wit's End! Hear her story of what she endured at Carolina Springs Academy.

Most importantly- learn from our mistakes so you don't make the same ones.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Sue Scheff: Teen Anxiety


Teen Anxiety


The lesser known relative of depression, anxiety, afflicts people of all ages and can be especially detrimental for teenagers. It is completely normal and even common for individuals to experience anxiety, particularly during stressful periods, such as before a test or important date (think Prom). For many, this is beneficial, serving as motivation to study hard and perform well; however, for many, anxiety goes beyond standard high-stress periods. While occasional stress is nothing to worry about and can even be healthy, many people experience anxiety on an ongoing basis. People, especially teenagers, who suffer from anxiety disorders, find that their daily life can be interrupted by the intense, often long-lasting fear or worry.

Anxiety disorders are not fatal; however, they can severely interfere with an individual's ability to function normally on a daily basis. The intense feelings of fear and worry often lead to a lack of sleep as it makes it very difficult for people to fall asleep. Those with anxiety disorders also commonly suffer from physical manifestations of the anxiety. The anxiety can cause headaches, stomach aches, and even vomiting. In addition stress can cause individuals to lose their appetite or have trouble eating. One of the more difficult aspects for students to deal with is difficulty concentrating. When one is consumed with worry, his or her mind continuously considers the worrisome thoughts, making it considerably harder for teenagers to concentrate on school work and other mentally intensive tasks. These affects of anxiety can make it difficult for teenagers to simply get through the day, let alone enjoy life and relax.

While there seems to be no single cause of anxiety disorders, it is clear that they can run in a family. The fact that anxiety disorders can run in families indicates that there may be a genetic or hereditary connection. Because a family member may suffer from an anxiety disorder does not necessarily mean that you will. However, individuals who have family members with this disorder are far more likely to develop it.

Within the brain, neurotransmitters help to regulate mood, so an imbalance in the level of specific neurotransmitters can cause a change in mood. It is this imbalance in a neurotransmitter called serotonin that leads to anxiety. Interestingly, an imbalance of serotonin in the brain is directly related to depression. For this reason, SSRI medications, more commonly referred to as anti-depressants, are often used to help treat an anxiety disorder. Medication can provide significant relief for those suffering from anxiety disorders; however, it is often not the most efficient form of treatment.

In addition to medication, treatments for anxiety disorders include cognitive-behavioral therapy, other types of talk therapy, and relaxation and biofeedback to control muscle tension. Talk therapy can be the most effective treatment for teenagers, as they discuss their feelings and issues with a mental health professional. Many teens find it incredibly helpful to simply talk about the stress and anxiety that they feel. Additionally, in a specific kind of talk therapy called cognitive-behavioral therapy teens actively "unlearn" some of their fear. This treatment teaches individuals a new way to approach fear and anxiety and how to deal with the feelings that they experience.

Many people attempt to medicate themselves when they suffer from stress or anxiety. While individuals find different ways to deal with the intense worry that they may experience, self medication can be very detrimental to their body. It is not uncommon for people who suffer from anxiety disorders to turn to alcohol or drugs to relieve the anxiety. While this may provide a temporary fix for the afflicted, in the long run it is harmful. By relying on these methods, individuals do not learn how to deal with the anxiety naturally. Reliance on other substances can also lead to alcohol or drug abuse, which can be an especially significant problem if it is developed during the teen years.

Statistics on teen anxiety show that anxiety disorders are the most common form of mental disorders among adolescents:

8-10 percent of adolescents suffer from an anxiety disorder
Symptoms of an anxiety disorder include: anger, depression, fatigue, extreme mood swings, substance abuse, secretive behavior, changes in sleeping and eating habits, bad hygiene or meticulous attention to, compulsive or obsessive behavior
One in eight adult Americans suffer from an anxiety disorder totaling 19 million people
Research conducted by the National Institute of Mental Health has shown that anxiety disorders are the number one mental health problem among American women and are second only to alcohol and drug abuse among men
Anxiety disorders cost the U.S. $46.6 billion annually
Anxiety sufferers see an average of five doctors before being successfully diagnosed
Learn more about Teen Anxiety.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Parents Universal Resource Experts (Sue Scheff) 10 Quick Tips for Parenting Teens

Parenting Tips by Sue Scheff



1. Communication: Keeping the lines of communication of your child should be a priority with all parents. It is important to let your kids know you are always there for them no matter what the subject is. If there is a subject you are not comfortable with, please be sure your child has someone they can open up to. I believe that when kids keep things bottled up, it can be when negative behaviors can start to grow.


2. Knowing your Children’s Friends: This is critical, in my opinion. Who are your kids hanging out with? Doing their homework with? If they are spending a lot of time at a friends house, go out of your way to call the parent introduce yourself. Especially if they are spending the night at a friends house, it important to take time to call the parents or meet them. This can give you a feeling of security knowing where your child is and who they are with.

3. Know your Child’s Teachers – Keep track of their attendance at school: Take time to meet each teacher and be sure they have your contact information and you have theirs if there are any concerns regarding your child. In the same respect, take time to meet your child’s Guidance Counselor.



4. Keep your Child Involved: Whether it is sports, music, drama, dance, and school clubs such as chess, government, school newspaper or different committees such as prom, dances and other school activities. Keeping your child busy can keep them out of trouble. If you can find your child’s passion – whether it is football, soccer, gymnastics, dance, music – that can help keep them focused and hopefully keep them on track in school.



5. Learn about Internet Social Networking: In today’s Cyber generation this has to be a priority. Parents need to help educate their kids on Cyber Safety – think before they post, help them to understand what they put up today, may haunt them tomorrow. Don’t get involved with strangers and especially don’t talk about sex with strangers. Avoid meeting in person the people you meet online without you being there. On the same note – cell phone and texting – don’t allow your child to freely give out their cell numbers and never post them online.



6. Encourage your teen to get a job or volunteer: In today’s generation I think we need to instill responsibility and accountability. This can start early by encouraging your teen to either get a job or volunteer, especially during the summer. Again, it is about keeping them busy, however at the same time teaching them responsibility. I always tell parents to try to encourage their teens to get jobs at Summer Camps, Nursing Homes or places where they are giving to others. It can truly build self esteem to help others.



7. Make Time for your Child: This sounds very simple and almost obvious, but with today’s busy schedule of usually both parents working full time or single parent households, it is important to put time aside weekly (if not daily at dinner) for one on one time or family time. Today life is all about electronics (cell phones, Ipods, Blackberry’s, computers, etc) that the personal touch of actually being together has diminished.



8. When Safety trumps privacy: If you suspect your teen is using drugs, or other suspicious behaviors (lying, defiance, disrespectful, etc) it is time to start asking questions – and even “snooping” – I know there are two sides to this coin, and that is why I specifically mentioned “if you suspect” things are not right – in these cases – safety for your child takes precedence over invading their privacy. Remember – we are the parent and we are accountable and responsible for our child.



9. Are you considering outside treatment for your child? Do your homework! When your child’s behavior escalates to a level of belligerence, defiance, substance abuse or God forbid gang relations – it may be time to seek outside help. Don’t be ashamed of this – put your child’s future first and take steps to get the help he/she needs – immediately, but take your time to find the right placement.



10. Be a parent FIRST: There are parents that want to be their child’s friend and that is great – but remember you are a parent first. Set boundaries – believe it not kids want limits (and most importantly – need them). Never threaten consequences you don’t plan on following through with.


Learn More at www.helpyourteens.com

Friday, June 27, 2008

What is the Strengths Movement?




At its core, the Strengths Movement is a social movement intended to change how we view ourselves, our children and our world. We have all been conditioned to see weaknesses and mine for deficits. This movement seeks to change that perspective and then apply the positive strengths perspective to our families and our schools.

There is no better place to begin this movement than in our families and the schools.

A vast collection of committed individuals does not constitute a movement. A movement must have followers and actions. Movements usually spring up in response to a threat.

What is the threat?

Our schools are failing to prepare children to thrive in the 21st century. There are many good ideas about how to change that. This movement seeks to unite all those ideas and wrap them in one force field: discovery, development and use of strengths. What is a strength? It is what energizes you, differentiates you, make you feel useful and whole. Strengths combined with direction create a chain of positive and right actions.

Who has a stake in this movement?

Businesses--whose productivity depends upon the talent of the next generation.

Parents and educators, preschool through university--who share responsibility for finding the strengths in the next generation.

Students-- who have the biggest stake. After all, they are their strengths and it is their future.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A Parent's Guide to Gateway Drugs


A Parent's Guide to Gateway Drugs


A gateway drug is a drug that opens the metaphorical gateway to more potent, dangerous drugs. Substances like alcohol, cigarettes and marijuana are considered gateway drugs. While many parents are tempted to say "it's only beer" or "its just pot", the danger in gateway drugs is their ability to convince the user that they can handle larger quantities or in many cases, stronger, more potent substances.
Click here for more information.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Sue Scheff: The Dangers of Inhalant Abuse


Inhaled chemicals are rapidly absorbed through the lungs into the bloodstream
and quickly distributed to the brain and other organs. Within minutes, the user
experiences intoxication, with symptoms similar to those produced by drinking
alcohol. With Inhalants, however, intoxication lasts only a few minutes, so some
users prolong the “high” by continuing to inhale repeatedly.


Short-term effects include:

headaches, muscle weakness, abdominal pain, severe
mood swings and violent behavior, belligerence, slurred speech, numbness and
tingling of the hands and feet, nausea, hearing loss, visual disturbances, limb
spasms, fatigue, lack of coordination, apathy, impaired judgment, dizziness,
lethargy, depressed reflexes, stupor, and loss of consciousness.
The Inhalant user will initially feel slightly stimulated and, after successive
inhalations, will feel less inhibited and less in control. Hallucinations may
occur and the user can lose consciousness. Worse, he or she, may even die.
Please see Sudden Sniffing Death Syndrome below.


Long-term Inhalant users generally suffer from:

weight loss, muscle weakness,
disorientation, inattentiveness, lack of coordination, irritability and depression.
Different Inhalants produce different harmful effects, and regular abuse of these
substances can result in serious harm to vital organs. Serious, but potentially
reversible, effects include liver and kidney damage. Harmful irreversible effects
include: hearing loss, limb spasms, bone marrow and central nervous system
(including brain) damage.


Sudden Sniffing Death Syndrome:

Children can die the first time, or any time, they try an Inhalant. This is
known as Sudden Sniffing Death Syndrome. While it can occur with many
types of Inhalants, it is particularly associated with the abuse of air conditioning
coolant, butane, propane, and the chemicals in some aerosol products. Sudden Sniffing Death Syndrome is usually associated with cardiac arrest. The Inhalant causes the heart to beat rapidly and erratically, resulting in cardiac arrest.

Learn more:

Friday, June 13, 2008

Parents Universal Resource Experts (Sue Scheff) Standing Up for Your Child's Educational Rights




Learn your child’s educational rights to get him the support he needs in the classroom.


In an ideal world, teachers and school administrators would be as eager as parents to see that children with ADD get what they need to succeed in school. Unfortunately, teachers are pressed for time as never before, and school districts are strapped for cash. So it’s up to parents to make sure that their kids get the extra support they need.


“The federal government requires schools to provide special services to kids with ADD and other disabilities, but the school systems themselves bear much of the cost of these services,” says Susan Luger, director of The Children’s Advisory Group in New York City. “Though they’ll never admit it, this gives the schools an incentive to deny these services. The process of obtaining services has become much more legalistic over the past 10 years.”

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Sue Scheff: Teen Eating Disorders

Recently I was contacted by a wonderful woman that has struggled with Bulimia since she was 14 years olds. Teen Eating Disorders are a very serious concern for many parents - and they need to be made aware of the warning signs as well as solutions.

Lori Hanson is the woman I am speaking of, she is an Author, Speaker and Life Balance Expert.
Her new book - “It Started with Pop-Tarts” at the age of 14 - and through her college years suffered and battled with Bulimia. She shares a journey that parents with teens that are at-risk with having an eating disorder should read.


Learn more about Lori at http://www.lori-hanson.com/ - she may be able to help you help your kids.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Parents Universal Resource Experts Founder - Sue Scheff, Authors "Wit's End!"

Help for Parents of Out-of-control Teens
Resources to help families in this critical time

(SOUTH FLORIDA)—In 2000, a teenager at a residential treatment center was locked-up in an isolation box for 17 hours with no windows, heat or air conditioning because she had tried to help a girl who was having a seizure. Later, that same teenager got food poisoning and was rushed to the ER (unbeknownst to her mother) because sewage had contaminated the food she was eating and sunk into the carpet of the living areas.

These are just some of the experiences that Sue Scheff’s daughter, Ashlyn, experienced while enrolled in a residential treatment program, supposed to be helping her cope with emotional and behavioral problems while building up her self-esteem. Furious about how Ashlyn had been treated, Scheff posted her experiences online about the program and was promptly sued for libel. Scheff won by a long shot.

Now parents can read Scheff’s story and learn from her mistakes in Wit’s End: Advice and Resources for Saving Your OUT-OF-CONTROL TEEN (HCI Books, July 2008). The book is the result of her years of effort to educate parents and provide them with the proper resources to care for their own difficult teen.

“I was desperate to find good help for my daughter, but this program ended up making things worse,” says Scheff. “My book provides positive, prescriptive help for families who want to put their children on the road to a safe, healthy adulthood. It is imperative parents do their homework and Wit’s End can offer a convenient outline to get them started.”

Parents doing their homework becomes even more important in light of a 2007 study released by the U.S. Government Accountability Office which uncovered thousands of allegations of abuse, some of which involved death, at residential treatment programs across the country and in American-owned and American-operated facilities abroad between the years 1990 and 2007.

For parents who need one-on-one guidance, Scheff founded Parents’ Universal Resource Experts (P.U.R.E.), an advocacy group that not only researches residential treatment centers and other teen help programs around the world, but helps educate parents to choose which facilities are best suited to match their child’s needs.

Sue Scheff is a parent advocate and the founder of Parent’s Universal Resource Experts, Inc. She has been featured in numerous publications and broadcasts, including: 20/20, The Rachel Ray Show, ABC News, CBC News: Sunday Morning, CNN Headline News, Fox News, BBC Talk Radio, National Public Radio and The New York Times.

For more information, please visit http://www.suescheff.com/ or http://www.helpyourteens.com/

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Parents Universal Resource Experts (Sue Scheff) Strategies to Keep your Teens Safe




Monitoring teens is an art form. Too much and teens will rebel or not learn the skills they need to function on their own. And too little monitoring can result in behaviors that spell trouble. What to do? Here are some strategies to consider for keeping track of teens.


Monitoring Teens


Read entire article for valuable information: http://www.education.com/reference/article/Ref_Strategies_keeping/



Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Parents Universal Resource Experts (Sue Scheff) Talk to your Children about Alcoholism




Quick Facts


Kids who drink are more likely to be victims of violent crime, to be involved in alcohol-related traffic crashes, and to have serious school-related problems.


You have more influence on your child’s values and decisions about drinking before he or she begins to use alcohol.


Parents can have a major impact on their children’s drinking, especially during the preteen and early teen years.


Read the entire article here:



Monday, June 2, 2008

Sue Scheff: Is Parent Coaching for your Family?


Why Family Coaching Works by Dr. Paul Jenkins, PhD

The CreationTree Coaching Model:

Life coaching is a service that has been designed to assist individuals, couples, families, and organizations to achieve their highest potential.

Coaching is a deliberate process of focused conversations to create an environment for individual, family, and corporate prosperity, living on purpose, and sustained improvement in all aspects of life.


Genius Was Once Described ...

… as the ability to take the complex and describe it in simple terms without oversimplifying. Dr. Paul's keen insights into marriage and family has allowed him to distill these seemingly complicated topics down to practical core concepts. This is a gift absent in the motivational industry.

This is accomplished through the four P’s which are:

Principle: Add power to your life through principle. Principles are always true in every context. Natural laws are examples of principles - like gravity. Gravity will act on you whether you believe in it or not - and whether you like it or not. Identify the correct principles that will create freedom in your life, and get busy applying them. Principles govern.

Paradigm: Add power to your life through paradigm. The most powerful concept I have discovered in psychology is that there are two paradigms (victim vs. hero). You can choose which paradigm you embrace, and the outcome of each is sure. If you adopt a victim paradigm, you will experience misery and captivity. If you adopt a hero paradigm, you will experience happiness and liberty.

Purpose: Add power to your life through purpose. Your life is going somewhere for sure. Where it goes depends a lot on where you aim it. Develop a personal mission statement, and also one for your marriage, family, business, or other ventures. Start living on purpose. The phrase, “Live On Purpose” has a nice double meaning – that you have a clear purpose or mission for your life, and that you do it intentionally.

Passion: Add power to your life through passion. Passion is the driving force that motivates you. After you have successfully learned principles, the challenge is to apply those principles in your life in meaningful ways. This requires change, and to change you must find ways to get leverage on yourself. Passion for life increases dramatically as you begin to spend more of your time doing the things that you love for the people who love what you do.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Sue Scheff: Teen Career Angst by Connect with Kids


“I want to be at the top of the pile, and if I’m not there, I feel like I gotta do a lot of things to get there.”

– Michael, 14

There’s growing evidence that kids today are more worried about their future than previous generations. And that anxiety is occurring in younger and younger children. How can this type of anxiety impact your child?

Whether they’re involved in sports, clubs or academics, kids today are quickly learning that competition is a part of life.

“I think there is more competition these days to go to the best college, to make the best SAT scores, and it’s like everybody is trying to be the best,” 14-year-old Connie says.

Even at the tender ages of 12, 13 and 14, adolescents begin to worry about the future – “Where will I go to college?” “What kind of career will I choose?” “How much money will I make?” It’s a new kind of teenage angst.

Thirteen-year-old Trey feels the pressure every day.

“I set my standards very high and when I don’t achieve my goal, I feel very bad,” he says.

Michael, 14, pushes himself, too.

“You want to be better than everybody else. I know I do. I want to be at the top of the pile and if I’m not there, I feel like I gotta do a lot of things to get there.”

The National Association of School Psychologists estimates that career-related anxieties among teens have increased about 20% in the past decade. Experts say striving for success is great, but they also warn that if it becomes an obsession, it can be unhealthy for kids.

“They become anxious [and] jittery. They become worriers,” says Dr. John Lochridge, a psychiatrist. “They turn to drugs or alcohol as external ways to calm themselves down.“

Experts say that parents need to help kids put success into perspective and teach them how to pace themselves.

“[It’s important to] emphasize the moment as opposed to where we are going to be in five years, where we’re going to be in 10 years or what are we achieving,” says Dr. Alexandra Phipps, a psychologist.

But more than anything, parents need to help their children recognize the importance of “just being a kid.”

Says Connie: “Sometimes, I feel like I have so much stress on me. And I feel like at this age, I should be enjoying myself, but sometimes I don’t feel like I’m enjoying life as I should be.”

Tips for Parents


The recent barrage of layoffs and economic turmoil of the past year is not only taking it’s toll on the working class but it is also affecting children – even those in middle school – as they begin to worry about their financial future. According to the National Association of School Psychologists, career-related anxiety among children has increased approximately 15-20% in the past decade. Even affluent, academic achievers are finding themselves buckling under enormous amounts of pressure as they witness the world of work become a place of fierce competition.

This trend of children’s early anxiety over financial well-being is further evidenced by a 2007 Charles Schwab “Teens & Money” survey. The survey of 1,000 U.S. teens in aged 13-18 revealed the following statistics:

Despite their optimistic longer-term earnings expectations, 62% say they’re concerned about being able to support themselves after high school.


49% say they’re concerned their parents/guardians will not be able to support them financially if they attend college.


One in four (25%) say they sometimes feel guilty for being a financial burden to their parents (among teens 16-18, 31% say this).


More than half (56%) are concerned about their parents’/guardians’ financial well-being.


Is it harmful for children and adolescents to be worried about competition and financial success at such an early age?


Competition is generally good for children, according to the National Network for Child Care.

Whether children are competing for a spot on the volleyball team or a chance to win an academic scholarship, the experience helps them gain insights about their physical and intellectual skills and limitations.


Competitions also enable children to learn teamwork, identify personal goals, develop criteria for success and motivate them to increase their efforts to attain the goals they desire. But if your child begins to develop a “winning-is-everything” attitude, parental intervention may be necessary.

If your adolescent seems preoccupied by future financial insecurity, you can take several steps to ease their angst. The experts at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism suggest you start by using these tips to guide your child when dealing with the issue of careers:

Encourage your child to explore his or her options. Be supportive by asking your child, “Can I help you get connected?” or “Can I help you with researching a career?”


You need to remember this is not your career decision. Have trust in your child and be supportive, yet informative.


The world of work has changed since many parents made their first career choice. So some parents need to realize some of their information might be outdated.


Direct your child to resources where he or she can research his or her desired career.


If your child comes to you with career and financial concerns, the best action you can take is to listen, according to the National PTA. Engaging in open communication with your child and sharing your own experiences and frustrations will help to ease your child’s anxiety.


If your adolescent appears highly stressed about the future, you need to take the necessary steps to reduce that amount of stress before it can damage your child’s physical health. The American Academy of Family Physicians cites these signs and symptoms that indicate your child may be experiencing too much stress and anxiety:

Feeling depressed, edgy, guilty or tired
Having headaches, stomachaches or trouble sleeping
Laughing or crying for no reason
Blaming other people for bad things that happen
Only seeing the down side of a situation
Resenting other people or personal responsibilities
The National PTA says that you can help your adolescent learn to keep his or her anxiety at a minimal level by teaching him or her the following skills:

Limit or expand the number of your activities and responsibilities based on your capabilities. Preteens and teens should have challenges without becoming overwhelmed.


Avoid unnecessary worry. Thinking about a problem in order to arrive at a solution can be positive, but constant and unconstructive worry doesn’t accomplish anything. It usually just makes situations more stressful.


Become better organized. Plan activities and goals a step at a time so that parts are accomplished. This gives you more self-esteem and more reasonable deadlines.


Practice ways to reduce stress, such as aerobic exercise, proper nutrition, yoga, meditation, deep breathing, relaxation exercises, sleep, massage, taking a whirlpool or sauna bath and by having FUN.


References


American Academy of Family Physicians
National Association of School Psychologists
National Network for Child Care
National PTA
Northwestern University

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Carolina Springs Academy, Darrington Academy, Midwest Academy, Royal Gorge Academy, Red River Academy, Lisa Irvin etc....

Are you considering any of the following programs for your child? Take a moment to read my experiences - www.aparentstruestory.com as well as my book where you can hear my daughter's experiences for the first time - order today at www.witsendbook.com .

Choosing a program is not only a huge emotional decision, it is a major financial decision - do your homework!

Academy of Ivy Ridge, NY (withdrew their affiliation with WWASPS)
Canyon View Park, MT
Camas Ranch, MT
Carolina Springs Academy, SC
Cross Creek Programs, UT (Cross Creek Center and Cross Creek Manor)
Darrington Academy, GA
Help My Teen, UT (Adolescent Services Adolescent Placement) Promotes and markets these programs.
Gulf Coast Academy, MS
Horizon Academy, NV
Lisa Irvin (Helpmyteen)
Lifelines Family Services, UT (Promotes and markets these programs) Jane Hawley
Majestic Ranch, UT
Midwest Academy, IA (Brian Viafanua, formerly the Director of Paradise Cove as shown on Primetime, is the current Director here)
Parent Teen Guide (Promotes and markets these programs)
Pillars of Hope, Costa Rica
Pine View Christian Academy (Borders FL, AL, MS)
Reality Trek, UT
Red River Academy, LA (Borders TX)
Royal Gorge Academy, CO
Sky View Academy, NV
Spring Creek Lodge, MT
Teen Help, UT (Promotes and markets these programs)
Teens In Crisis
Tranquility Bay, Jamaica

Friday, May 23, 2008

Sue Scheff - Parent Advocate - Helping Teens through Tough Times



Straight Talk: Helping Bright Teens Through Tough Times




Let's face it - raising a child is difficult. Add to this fact all the characteristics of exceptionally bright young people that make this population unique. As they get older, they begin to move through adolescence, puberty, and teenage years. On any given day, it's likely that you already have a lot on your plate in terms of parenting your highly gifted adolescent. Then, your son or daughter experiences a bump in the road, perhaps even a sinkhole. How can you help your child in dealing with a difficult time, such as the death of a loved one or friend, existential depression, peer pressure, general disappointments and "life lessons"?


We asked some professionals with experience and expertise in nurturing gifted children to assist parents by sharing ideas for helping gifted teens through challenging times. Below, we've summarized their thoughts and suggestions.


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Sue Scheff: Your Child's Strenghts by Jenifer Fox M.ED


By Jenifer Fox M.ED


One of the most important goals of the Strengths Movement is to equip parents with the tools they need to help children discover and leverage their strengths. As this site continues to grow and evolve, we will continue to add resources. If you know of a good resource which is not listed here, let us know and we will add it.



**************
As a parent advocate, this book and websites offer tremendous educational information for parents to help them with their child's strengths.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Sue Scheff: Deliberate Misuse of Inhaler found in 1/4 of Teens


We've had a few questions on the inhalant.org message board in the past months about teens potentially using their asthma medication to get high. One poster's friend had a daughter whose inhaler recently needed to be refilled every week when it normally was only refilled every two or three months. Another's stepson was misusing his asthma medication and "has been eating this pills as if they are M&Ms!"


The University of Michigan News Service featured an article about a new study looking at the prevalence of inhaler abuse in teenagers. The study in question was performed by researchers at the U of M using 723 adolescents in thirty-two treatment facilities.


The study reports that "nearly one out of four teens who use an asthma inhaler say their intent is to get high".The lead author of the study, Brian Perron, declared that their findings "indicate that inhaler misuse for the purposes of becoming intoxicated is both widespread and may justifiably be regarded as a form of substance abuse in many cases."


The study also found that teens that abuse inhalers are more likely to abuse other drugs as well as have higher levels of distress. They were also more "prone to suicidal thoughts and attempts than youths who did not misuse their inhalers to get high."


From a survey of the study participants, "about 27 percent of youths who had been prescribed an inhaler used it excessively. In addition, one-third of all youths in the sample had used an asthma inhaler without a prescription."


So why would teens abuse their inhalers? What are the effects? The inhaler abusers said that they experienced positive feelings of euphoria, relaxation, and an increase in confidence.The negative effects were "feeling more dizzy, headaches, rapid heartbeat, anxiety, irritability, and confusion."


The most common misusers of their asthma inhalers were females and Caucasians.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Sue Scheff: Silencing Skeptics: The Truth About ADHD

By ADDitude Magazine

Parents of children with attention deficit disorder often wonder if their kids will stay on ADD drugs for life. A medical expert explains.

I recently diagnosed eight-year-old Aidan with attention deficit disorder (ADD ADHD). When I met with his parents to explain the disorder, each time I described a symptom, his mother exclaimed, “That’s me!” or “I’ve been like that all my life, too.” At the end of the appointment, she asked me if she should be evaluated, as well.

As an adult, Aidan’s mother had jumped from job to job, and had difficulty meeting household demands. As a child, she had struggled through school, often getting into trouble and getting poor grades. After a thorough evaluation of her chronic and pervasive history of hyperactivity, distractibility, and other symptoms of ADHD, she was diagnosed by a psychiatrist who works with adults.

Click here for entire article.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Sue Scheff - Wit's End! A Mother and Daughter's True Story and more



"Wit's End!" is now available with my daughter's voice finally being heard of her experiences at Carolina Springs Academy. Order today at http://www.witsendbook.com/ and you will receive it shortly. "Wit's End!" will be in all book stores in July, so order the early release today!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Sue Scheff - Parents Universal Resource Experts - Raising Kids Today Can Be A Challenge



Connect with Kids is a comprehensive website that offers parenting articles, helpful tips for parents, parent forums and more. They also offer Parenting DVD's on a variety of subjects that affect our kids today. Whether it is Troubled Teens or how to raise successful kids - there is probably a DVD that can help you better understand the issues surrounding our kids today.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Sue Scheff - Teen Runaways


A Growing Problem for Today's FamiliesOne of any parent's greatest fears is a missing child.


Each year, one million troubled teens from every social class, race and religion run away from home. Unfortunately, for American families, that number continues to rise.


Confused, pressured and highly impressionable teens follow their peers into bad choices. In most cases, runaway teenagers want to escape the rules and regulations of their family and household. Disagreements with parents leave them unhappy and frustrated to the point of rebellion. Naiveté leads them to believe they could survive outside the nest; and dreams of a life without parental guidance, rules and punishment seem ideal.


Monday, May 12, 2008

Sue Scheff - Parents Universal Resource Experts - Huffing Freon



As a parent advocate (Sue Scheff) I think there needs to be more awareness on inhalant use of today's kids. Huffing Freon can be so accessible to kids today - especially since I am in Florida - I think parents need to take time and learn more. www.inhalant.org is a good place to start.
Read More.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Sue Scheff - Parents Universal Resource Experts - P.U.R.E.



P.U.R.E. is based on reality - especially with today's teen society of technology including MySpace and other Internet concerns for children. Today we are educating children at much younger ages about substance abuse, sex, and more. The latest wave of music and lyrics, television, and movies help to contribute to generate a new spin on this age group. This leads to new areas of concern for parents.


We recognize that each family is different with a variety of needs. P.U.R.E. believes in creating Parent Awareness to help you become an educated parent in the teen help industry. We will give you a feeling of comfort in a situation that can be confusing, stressful, frustrating, and sometimes desperate.


Desperate? Confused? Stressed? Anxious? Helplessness? Frustrated? Scared? Exhausted? Fearful? Alone? Drained? Hopelessness? Out of Control? At Wit's End?...

Friday, May 9, 2008

Parents Universal Resource Experts (Sue Scheff) Discipline Do’s: Creating Limits for ADHD Children

By ADDitude Magazine

5 ways for parents of ADHD children to establish a reliable structure and solid limits.

Your child with attention deficit disorder (ADD ADHD) is loving, intelligent, cute, creative — and often wants his own way. He has the talk and charm to out-debate you, and will negotiate until the 59th minute of the 23rd hour. Like salesmen who won’t take no for an answer, he can wear you down until you give in to his wishes.

Sound familiar? Children with ADHD are more often slave to, than master of, their wishes and feelings. Those who are exceedingly impulsive and distracted seem to have a greater need for interaction and attention, even if getting it means battling with their parents. While all children require reliable structure and solid limits, ADHD kids need them more. Holding your ground is not mean or unreasonable. Here are some strategies for hanging tough.
Click here to read the entire article.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Sue Scheff: How Expectations Contribute to Success by Connect with Kids




Research shows that kids who grow up under high expectations do better than kids who don’t. And experts say kids start learning those expectations as babies. What do you expect from your kids? How is it working?


The Power of Expectations explores how setting goals can help children succeed. It also explores the dangers when parents have unrealistic expectations for their children, and how that shows up as stress, anxiety, and acting out with risky behaviors.


How do you balance the success you want for your child, as well as your own feelings, with what your child is truly capable of? How do you avoid expecting too much, or not enough? Watch The Power of Expectations, where you’ll learn from other families facing these same issues, along with powerful advice from child experts and educators.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Parents Universal Resource Experts (Sue Scheff) Are you strugging with your teenager?


Struggling Teens, At Risk Teens can be described in many ways, depending on what they are struggling with.

Is your teen struggling or at risk? Are they experiencing the bumps of puberty combined with the pressures of teen-life today? There are many reasons why your child could be experiencing a confusing time in their young life, but it is our responsibility as a parent to try to determine the cause of their inner hurt and sadness that can potentially cause negative and inappropriate behavior. Many teens will close up like a clam, but we need to keep on digging to help our child from sinking to a level of making bad choices. As a parent, this can be extremely difficult, and may require outside help. Don’t ignore it, search for answers then find your take action. Seeking outside assistance is nothing to be ashamed of and knowing you are not alone is comforting.

If a teen is struggling in school with their academic's, this could be a learning disability that has not been diagnosed or properly diagnosed. Your child could also be having some emotional problems that are distracting them from school and hopefully a therapist or guidance counselor could help you with. This can evolve from many sources including problems at home, a disagreement with a friend, or even an issue that they have been suppressing. With this, we always encourage parents to seek local therapist to evaluate the situation. Early prevention can help your child not to become a troubled teen.

At times a child may view an issue as extreme, when in reality it is minor. It is how a child perceives the problem, in comparison to how an adult would see the same problem. Children do not have the maturity parents have which may cause a child to act out negatively due to a minor incident. We may think it is small issue, but to the teen, it is huge. This needs to be addressed before it escalates into "major trouble." Problem teens, at risk teens, struggling teens, troubled teens, depressed teens, angry teens, difficult teens, violent teens all need proactive parents to seek help sooner rather than later.

http://www.helpyourteens.com/