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 - 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 or

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:

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 child̢۪s values and decisions about drinking before he or she begins to use alcohol.

Parents can have a major impact on their children̢۪s 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.