Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Sue Scheff (P.U.R.E.) Teen Cults


Teen cults claim many victims each year

Every year thousands of teens across the country become ensnared in the dangerous and misunderstood world of cults. These hazardous entities prey on the uncertainty and alienation that many teens feel and use those feelings to attract unsuspecting teens into their cult traps. As a figurehead in the world of parent teen relations, Sue Scheff™ knows the danger of cults and teenagers’ susceptibility to their temptations. Sue Scheff™ believes that like many other teen\ ailments, the best defense against the world of cults is through education.

No teen actually joins a cult, they join a religious movement or a political organization that reaches out to the feelings of angst or isolation that many troubled teen’s experience. Over time, this group gradually reveals its true cultish nature, and before teens know it, they are trapped in a web they can’t untangle.

With the strong rise in teen internet usage, cults have many ways to contact children and brainwash them. Sue Scheff™ knows the dark side of the internet from her experience with teenage internet addiction, and she understands it is also an avenue for cults to infiltrate teenage brains.

Cults have long been represented in the mass media. The supporters of Reverend Jim Jones People’s Temple may be some of the most famous cult members, making global headlines when they died in the hundreds after drinking Kool-Aid laced with cyanide. Almost 300 of the dead Jones supporters were teens and young children. Heavens Gate is another well known cult, which believed ritual suicide would ensure their journey behind the Hale-Bopp comet with Jesus. Heavens Gate lived in a strict communal environment, funding their cult endeavors through web site development. Some male members of the cult even castrated themselves before all 36 committed suicide, wearing matching sweat suits and Nike tennis shoes.

It is clear that despite the ridiculous and bizarre nature of many cults, parents can’t ignore the power and resourcefulness of these groups. Cult ideas may seem to loony to take seriously, but they can have real power when used against troubled teenagers, the exact type of teens that Sue Scheff™ and other parent advocates have been working to keep safe.

Cult influence should not be taken lightly, especially when living with a troubled teen. Parents may not think of cults as a problem because they don’t hear about them a lot, but that’s the key to cult success. The livelihood of teen cults relies on staying out of the public eye and in the shadows. The Heaven’s Gate and People’s Temple cults didn’t truly gain public notice until after their suicides, and by then it was too late to save their followers.

The danger of teen cults is real, but parents can help ensure their teenagers’ safety by staying informed and communicating with their children. Sue Scheff™ presents a site with important information about different types of cults that target teens, warning signs of cult attendance, and ways to help prevent your teen from becoming involved in a cult. Knowledge and communication is always the first line of defense when helping a troubled teen.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Sue Scheff (Parents Universal Resource Experts) Understanding the Power of Media & Its Effect on Kids





The 31.6 million kids in America today represent the largest generation in U.S. history. These kids – who collectively spend $200 billion each year on products and are a major target for advertisers and marketers – are recipients of a “marketing campaign that never stops.” Messages about body image, self-worth and sexuality are everywhere in advertising. What is their impact on the health and well being of children and teens – and their parents’ wallets?
Experts agree that too often television, music lyrics, movies – and the advertising messages surrounding them – sell discontent, playing upon our children’s youthful vulnerability. They say that media literacy, learning to understand these messages, can actually help kids learn to think for themselves.

What can you do to help your children understand the power of the media – and become more critical thinkers? Watch Selling Children: How Media Affects Kids with your kids and learn ways to help kids become more aware of the underlying messages: how to decode them, question them and, ultimately, understand them.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Parents Universal Resource Experts (Sue Scheff) The Feingold Program


The Feingold Program (also known as the Feingold Diet) is a test to determine if certain foods or food additives are triggering particular symptoms. It is basically the way people used to eat before "hyperactivity" became a household word, and before asthma and chronic ear infections became so very common. Used originally as a diet for allergies, improvement in behavior and attention was first noticed as a "side effect." It is a reasonable first step to take before (or with if already begun) drug treatment for any of the symptoms listed on the Symptoms page.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Friday, April 25, 2008

Parents Universal Resource Experts - Sue Scheff - Inhalant Abuse


Monitoring your child will make your child much less likely to use Inhalants or other drugs.


· Know where your child is at all times, especially after school
· Know your child's friends
· If you find your child unconscious, or you suspect your child is under the influence of an Inhalant, call 911 immediately.

If you suspect your child might be abusing Inhalants, call the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222; or call the '1-800' number on the label of the product.

According to the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, "if you talk to your kids about the risks of drugs, they are 36% less likely to abuse an Inhalant." Parents can make a tremendous impact on their kids' choices by talking to them.

Visit www.inhalant.org

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Sue Scheff (P.U.R.E.) Cell Phones and Driving




“Driving while talking on the cell phone approaches the same disability in terms of driving as driving while intoxicated does.”

– Dr. Cathy Blusiewicz, Ph.D., clinical psychologist

Several studies have shown that it’s dangerous to talk on a cell phone while driving. But is the solution, as some states have mandated, hands-free cell phones? Maybe not. New research suggests that even with both hands on the wheel, drivers on cell phones are a lot like drunk drivers.

Right after school, Patrick Ferrell gets in his car and gets on the phone.

“I talk on my cell phone all the time when I’m driving, but I don’t consider it a big deal because you just have to watch the road,” says Patrick, 18.

But according to experts, the brain can’t focus on two things at the same time. A study by Carnegie Mellon University reports that just talking on the phone reduces activity in the part of the brain responsible for driving by 37 percent.

“Driving while talking on the cell phone approaches the same disability in terms of driving as driving while intoxicated does,” says Dr. Cathy Blusiewicz, Ph.D., clinical psychologist.

And, she says, the effect is even worse for teenagers.

“Driving is a learned skill, and we become much more automatically proficient at it with the number of years we’ve had driving. And so … adolescents who are brand new drivers -- they don’ t have the learned skill, plus they are only giving 50 percent attention to it (at most) if they are on the phone,” says Blusiewicz.

“Yeah … if my friend’s telling me an exciting story, I’ll get really, really excited, and if someone pulls out in front of me I’ll … slam on the brakes or whatever. I’ll be paying more attention to my friends than to the road,” says Kendra Rasmussen, 18.

Experts say parents need to set an example; just as kids need endless reminders to wear a seatbelt, they need to hear over and over again: driving and cell phones don’t mix.

“So that’s a hill to climb for parents and educators, to convince them that even though you feel invincible this is like having four beers before you get behind the wheel,” says Blusiewicz.

Tips for Parents

It is very likely that your teenager will pick up the majority of his/her driving habits from watching you. According to a recent survey by Liberty Mutual and Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD), nearly two-thirds of teenagers polled say their parents talk on the cell phone while driving; almost half say their parents speed, and just under one-third say their parents don’t wear seatbelts. The following statistics, therefore, shouldn’t be very surprising:

Sixty-two percent of high school drivers say they talk on a cell phone while driving, and approximately half of high school teens who do not yet drive (52 percent) and middle school students (47 percent) expect they will engage in this behavior when they begin driving.
Sixty-seven percent of high school drivers say they speed.

Thirty-three percent of high school drivers say they do not wear their seatbelt while driving.
Cell phones have been transformed from status symbols into everyday accessories. In fact, cell phones are so prevalent among teenagers that a recent study found that they viewed talking on the phone nearly the same as talking to someone face-to-face. And with the latest studies showing that at least 56 percent of 13- to 17-year-olds own cell phones, the issue of cell phone usage is more pertinent than ever.

If you believe your teen should have a cell phone, it is important to lay down a few ground rules. The National Institute on Media and the Family suggests the following guidelines for setting limits on your teen’s cell phone use:

Choose a plan that puts some reasonable limits on your teen’s phone time. Make sure he or she knows what the limits are so he or she can do some budgeting.

Let your teen know that the two of you will be reviewing the bill together so you will have an idea of how the phone is being used.

If use exceeds the plan limits, the charges can mount very quickly. Make sure your teen has some consequences, financial or otherwise, if limits are exceeded.

Teach your child about the dangers of using the cell phone while driving and the distractions it can cause.

Find out what the school’s policies are regarding cell phone use and let your teen know that you will completely support the school’s policies.

Agree on cell phone etiquette. For example, no phone calling during meals or when it is bothersome or rude to other people.

Conversely, let your teen know that any “phone bullying” or cheating via text messaging will not be tolerated.

Let your teen know that his or her use of the cell phone is contingent on the ground rules you set. No compliance, no phone.

References

Washington Post
Liberty Mutual
SADD
Road and Travel
Wired News
National Institute on Media and the Family

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Sue Scheff: Parents Need to Learn More About Inhalant Abuse



Inhalant Abuse is an issue many parents are not aware of, they are very in tune to substance abuse regarding drugs and alcohol, however huffing seems to be a subject that is not discussed enough.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Sue Scheff - ADDitude Magazine and Website



LIVING WELL WITH ADD AND LEARNING DIFFERENCES


Wow - what a great informational website and magazine. ADD/ADHD is widely diagnosed among many children. Learn more about ADD/ADHD and other learning differences - click here.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Parents Universal Resource Experts (Sue Scheff) The Gap Year


“It might give a student a little bit more direction. They may be refreshed after taking a year off from being in an academic situation.”

– Adam Lips, Emory University, Admissions

For many students, the frenzied, non-stop trek to college begins their first day in high school. And, after four years of study, SAT exams and AP classes, some students are exhausted. That’s why more and more universities are recommending what’s called a “gap” year between high school and college.



Graduation is just around the corner: the end of 12 years of school and then, at the end of the summer, many students will begin college. But not Annie van Beunigan.

“This is kind of the center of Paris, and the Sorbonne is right here,” says Annie, 17, pointing to a map of Paris, France.

Before heading to college, Annie is going to spend a year in France.

“It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. I’m pretty sick of school … I worked pretty hard in high school. I was pretty driven and I just want to take a break,” says Annie.

The U.S. Department of Education reports that half of all college students take six years or more to get a Bachelor’s degree – partly because so many begin their freshman year burned out and unfocused. Experts say a year off can help.

“It might give a student a little bit more direction. They may be refreshed after taking a year off from being in an academic situation,” says Adam Lips, Emory University, Admissions.

“My mom took a year off and went to live in France and she said that was the best year of her life. She learned so much and grew up so much and went back to college and was more focused,” says Annie.

“For a lot of people it builds character. It builds maturity and it lets them make the most of that college experience,” says Lips.

Still, delaying college should not be taken lightly.

“There needs to be a great deal of thought put into what a student is going to do during that year so that it’s meaningful to them … not just taking a year off for the sake of taking a year off. It might be traveling, it might be doing some volunteer work, it might be working on a job,” says Lips.

Annie is optimistic about her year abroad.

“You come back with an open mind and you’ve just learned so much stuff. You learn from people who are different from you. You learn about yourself,” says Annie.

Tips for Parents

For some people, the prospect of starting college, especially going away to school, is scary. It's probably the first time that you'll be totally responsible for your own schedule. What if you intend to go to college but just don't feel ready to start or take a full-time job after high school graduation? You might want to take a year off to pause and regroup. This practice is common in some countries, such as the United Kingdom, where it's called a "gap year." (Nemours Foundation)

Taking time off doesn't mean you should ignore the idea of applying to college. In fact, you may want to consider making your college plans before you become involved in other things, especially if you'll be traveling. Apply to schools and make your choice, then ask for a deferred admission. (Nemours Foundation)

Even if you decide not to apply to college, it can be a great idea to take a year to do something you may not have an opportunity to do again. Lots of volunteer organizations would welcome your time and energy and would provide you with a wonderful learning experience. (Nemours Foundation)

If you take a year off, you will likely learn great life skills -- such as living on a tight budget! Plan how you'll pay your way while you're traveling or doing volunteer work. Can you live at home or with friends? Get a part-time job? (Nemours Foundation)

Taking a year off can give you time to clarify your goals and plan for the future. You may be able to earn money to fund future plans, e.g. graduate study. (Durham University)

A gap year may heighten your enthusiasm for further study and work. You may gain new skills valued by employers, such as team working, organizational skills and problem-solving. (Durham University)

References

Nemours Foundation
Durham University

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Parents Univeral Resource Experts (Sue Scheff) Inhalant Abuse Among Teens and Pre-teens

Inhalant Abuse is becoming a growing problem among teens and pre-teens. With parents, this is a very serious concern that parents need to become educated about.

As a parent advocate, I believe this subject cannot be ignored, and a matter that people need to learn more about.

Inhalant Abuse is a lesser-known form of substance abuse, but is no less dangerous than other forms.The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service has reported that more than 2.1 million children in America experiment with some form of an inhalant each year and the Centers for Disease Control lists inhalants as second only to marijuana for illicit drug use among youth.

For more information on Inhalant Abuse visit www.inhalant.org - You could save a life today.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Parents Universal Resource Experts (Sue Scheff) Teen Theft


Teens and Theft: Why it Happens

Too Young to Start

There are almost as many reasons teens steal as there are things for teens to steal. One of the biggest reasons teens steal is peer pressure. Often, teens will steal items as a means of proving’ that they are “cool enough” to hang out with a certain group. This is especially dangerous because if your teen can be convinced to break the law for petty theft, there is a strong possibility he or she can be convinced to try other, more dangerous behaviors, like drinking or drugs. It is because of this that it is imperative you correct this behavior before it escalates to something beyond your control.

Another common reason teens steal is because they want an item their peers have but they cannot afford to purchase. Teens are very peer influenced, and may feel that if they don’t have the ‘it’ sneakers or mp3 player, they’ll be considered less cool than the kids who do. If your teen cannot afford these items, they may be so desperate to fit in that they simply steal the item. They may also steal money from you or a sibling to buy such an item. If you notice your teen has new electronics or accessories that you know you did not buy them, and your teen does not have a job or source of money, you may want to address whereabouts they came up with these items.

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

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


By Sue Scheff, Parents Universal Resource Experts