Thursday, July 16, 2009

Sue Scheff: Myths of Military Schools

Almost on a daily basis I have to explain to parents that Military Schools are an honor and privilege to attend – they are not for troubled teens. For parents that seem to defy this, I share with them that if their child is expelled for any reason (such as drug use, alcohol, defiance, etc.) you -the parent – risk forfeiting your tuition which can be upwards of $20K or more. The misconception that drugs are not on Military School campus’ is simply not true. Where there is will, there is a way. They are not lock-downs.

In many Military Schools, your child needs to interview with the school, have a good GPA and in many cases have letters of references. Another words, they have to have a desire to attend a Military School. In some cases they may go reluctantly, but are not beligerent about it. Usually if you start them younger, you will find your child more cooperative.

So what are Military Schools?

Military Schools and Academies offer a student the opportunity to reach their highest academic potential as well as build up their self-esteem to make better choices in today’s society. We encourage parents to let their children know that Military Schools are a privilege and honor to attend and not for troubled children.

Military Schools are not for punishment; they are a time for growth. With many students the structure and positive discipline that Military Schools offer are very beneficial. It not only encourages them to become the best they can be, it enhances them to grow into mature respectable young men and women. Many students do not realize they would enjoy Military Schools until they actually visit the campus and understand the honor it is. Military Schools will give your child the vision to reach their goals and dreams for their future. The high level of academics combined with small class sizes creates a strong educational background.

Many ADD/ADHD students do very well in a Military School and Military Academy due to the structure and positive discipline. If your child is ADD or ADHD you may want to consider this type of environment. Many parents start with a summer program to determine if their child is a candidate for Military School.

Military Schools and Academies tuitions vary. Most start at $22,000.00 per school year. There is financing available through lenders and some scholarships. Visit if you would like more information about Military Schools and believe your child would be a good candidate. As a parent of a child that is ADHD, he successfully graduated Military School and obtained a full academic scholarship in a private college and starting medical school next year. Military Schools are an exceptional education for many students

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Parents Universal Resource Experts - Sue Scheff - Girls and Body Image

“[Girls get the message], ‘This is who you should be, and this is what you should look like, this is the ideal,’ and the ideal isn’t even real.”

– Ann Moore, Ph.D., Psychologist

Beginning at a young age, girls have a desire to be beautiful.

“You’re learning who you are. You’re worrying about self-esteem issues, how you look,” 17-year-old Ginny says.

For some girls, the focus is on weight – the thinner, the better.

“The media just sort of drills it in, that this is the ideal body image, and you sort of feel the need to live up to that expectation,” says Robin, 16.

Friends Robin, Ginny and Halle agreed to an experiment designed to test their self-perception. Each was given a sheet of paper lined with silhouettes of various body images. They were asked to circle the image they felt best matched their own body.

After calculating their weight and height, each girl then circled an image that actually matched those numbers. The result turned out to be a thinner image than the one they originally chose. Why did the teens think they were heavier than they actually were?

“Everybody’s harder on themselves than they should be,” says Halle, 17.

According to a Georgia State University study of 14,000 high school students, a distorted body image increases the risk that a girl will attempt suicide.

One reason: media images that are unrealistic.

“[They get the message that], ‘This is who you should be, and this is what you should look like, this is the ideal,’ and the ideal isn’t even real,” says psychologist Dr. Ann Moore, program director for the Atlanta Center for Eating Disorders.

Robin, Ginny and Halle each say they have a pretty healthy self-image but recognize the potential danger for teens who don’t.

“If you have a really distorted body image, a lot of times you can start hurting yourself in totally unhealthy ways – crazy diets and anorexia and bulimia, or if you’re a guy, over-exercising your muscles,” Halle says.

The experts agree. They say parents can help counter a negative self-image by teaching their children, especially girls who are sometimes more vulnerable, how to focus on the things that are really important.

“[By] recognizing that she’s intelligent, recognizing that she’s got a lot of spunk, recognizing that she’s funny, that she’s got a great sense of humor. All of those things are much more important than what somebody looks like,” Dr. Moore says.

Tips for Parents
According to a study from the University of Delaware, teenage girls perceive themselves as weighing more than 10 pounds heavier than they actually do. For their study, researchers asked 172 adolescents (aged 13 to 17) to pick one of 27 silhouettes resembling how they see themselves and then pick another silhouette matching their ideal weight. The researchers found that girls on average viewed themselves as weighing 141 pounds, which was 8 pounds more than their average weight (133 pounds) and 11 pounds more than their ideal weight (130 pounds). While boys also saw themselves as weighing more than they did (185 pounds vs. 172 pounds), they picked a higher ideal weight (182 pounds) that was closer to their average weight.

What is body image? The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) defines body image as how one sees oneself when looking in a mirror or how one pictures oneself in one’s mind. Body image includes how a person feels not only about his or her weight but also height and shape.

It is important to understand that body images can be positive or negative. The NEDA cites the following descriptions for both a positive and negative body image:

Positive body image:

■Having a clear, true perception of one’s shape (seeing the various parts of the body as they really are)
■Celebrating and appreciating one’s natural body shape and understanding that a person’s physical appearance says very little about his or her character and value as a person
■Feeling proud and accepting of one’s unique body and refusing to spend an unreasonable amount of time worrying about food, weight and calories
■Feeling comfortable and confident in one’s body
Negative body image:

■Having a distorted perception of one’s shape (perceiving parts of the body unlike they really are)
■Being convinced that only other people are attractive and that one’s body size or shape is a sign of personal failure
■Feeling ashamed, self-conscious and anxious about one’s body
■Feeling uncomfortable and awkward in one’s body
So how can you determine if your teen has a negative body image and whether or not he or she is in danger? The experts at Chicago Parent magazine suggest looking for these trouble signs in your teen:

■Engaging in excessive exercise or training that isn’t required for his or her athletic activities at school and that intrudes on other important activities
■Engaging in sports for the sole purpose of improving appearance
■Having a preoccupation with looking like the extremely thin women or muscular men in the media
■Using large quantities of dietary supplements, such as creatine or protein powders, or steroids, such as ephedrine or androstenedione
■Experiencing sharp fluctuations in weight
■Fasting, attempting extreme diets or using laxatives, diuretics or other dangerous techniques to lose weight
■Feeling like he or she never looks good enough
■Needing frequent reassurance that he or she “looks OK”
■Thinking, worrying about and feeling distressed about his or her appearance
■Allowing his or her appearance concerns to limit social activities or negatively affect school or job performance
■Avoiding having all or part of his or her body seen by others (avoiding locker room situations or wearing clothes that alter or disguise his or her body)
If you recognize any of the signs previously listed, it is important that you talk with your teen about these issues as soon as possible. Whether your son or daughter has a negative body image, the University of South Florida suggests the following tips to help guide your discussion:

■Tell your teen how important it is that he or she identifies and accepts his or her strengths and weaknesses. Remind him or her that everyone has them and that no one is perfect.
■Remind your teen that goals must be realistic and he or she must take pride in his or her achievements.
■Tell your teen not to be someone else but to be proud of whom he or she is.
■Have your teen explore his or her own talents and learn to love and appreciate the unique person he or she has become.
As a parent, it is important to remember that you play a crucial role in how your teen feels about his or her body. You are often his or her role model, and your teen learns from what you say and do. To be a positive role model and to help prevent your teen from developing a negative body image, the NEDA suggests the following strategies:

■Consider your thoughts, attitudes and behaviors toward your own body and the way that these beliefs have been shaped by the forces of weightism and sexism.
■Educate your teen about the genetic basis for the natural diversity of human body shapes and sizes and the nature and ugliness of prejudice.
■Make an effort to maintain positive, healthy attitudes and behaviors.
■Avoid conveying messages that will lead your teen to believe he or she needs to look more like a model and fit into smaller clothes.
■Learn about and discuss with your teen the dangers of trying to alter one’s body shape through dieting, the value of moderate exercise for health and the importance of eating a variety of foods in well-balanced meals consumed at least three times a day.
■Make a commitment not to avoid activities, such as swimming, sunbathing, dancing, etc., simply because they call attention to your weight and shape.
■Make a commitment to exercise for the joy of feeling your body move and grow stronger, not to purge fat from your body or to compensate for calories eaten.
■Help your teen appreciate and resist the ways in which television, magazines and other media distort the true diversity of human body types and imply that a slender body means power, excitement, popularity or perfection.
■Encourage your teen to be active and to enjoy what his or her body can do and feel like. Do not limit his or her caloric intake unless a physician requests that you do this because of a medical problem.
■Do whatever you can to promote the self-esteem and self-respect of your teen in intellectual, athletic and social endeavors. Give boys and girls the same opportunities and encouragement. A well-rounded sense of self and solid self-esteem are perhaps the best antidotes to dangerous dieting and a negative body image.

■Chicago Parent
■Georgia State University
■National Eating Disorders Association
■University of Delaware
■University of South Florida

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Sue Scheff: What is your teen’s Bedtime? It matters… a lot

This article definitely reminds me of when I was raising my teenagers and struggled with their sleeping patterns. I think many parents will gain some valuable information from Sue Blaney (Author and Parenting Expert) as summer is here and schedules become more flexible, read more about the importance of sleep and your teen.

June 10th, 2009 by Sue Blaney

If your teenager is one of the few who actually gets the required nine hours of sleep, you can stop reading this now. For the rest of you, new research has highlighted some facts you need to know about. Lack of enough sleep in teens has been linked to an increase in signs of depression and thoughts about suicide as reported in a research study on 15,000 teenagers conducted through Columbia University. The study looked specifically at the bedtime parents impose on their teens… those who allow teens to stay up until midnight on a school night, vs parents who impose a 9pm or 10pm bedtime. The later bedtime is linked to teens with 25% more depression and 20% more thoughts of suicide.

There is more involved here, too: lack of sleep impacts teens’ performance, safe driving and even weight control, as well as mental health.

Summer is beginning so your teen’s schedule is likely to change, and even with a more relaxed schedule it is important to encourage healthy sleep habits. The sleep experts recommend not varying the nightly schedule more than two hours on weekends…sometimes easier said than done. But don’t give up on providing some direction and parameters on your teenager’s sleep habits, even in the summer. There is a lot at stake.

There are some specific ways parents you help your teenagers develop better sleep habits, and none of these are difficult:

exercise - encourage and facilitate your teen’s regular exercise
minimize screentime prior to bed - take the computer out of his bedroom
avoid caffeine in the late afternoon and evening
avoid bright lights prior to bedtime
model responsible behavior in your sleep habits
melatonin can help (but you may want to ask your doctor about using it)
don’t use an over-the-counter sleep aid without speaking with your doctor

Learn more about Sue Blaney’s book - Please Stop the Roller Coaster! How Parents of Teenagers Can Smooth Out the Ride

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Parents Universal Resource Experts - Sue Scheff - Florida Summer Program for Kids

Wow, Danielle Herb (check out her video) offers an amazing program for kids with ADD/ADHD as well as helping kids overcome their fears. Since I am in Florida, I am always asked about programs here and honestly, there are not that many. Well, not many in my opinion - if you know my story and my organization, I am a bit on the picky side.

Attention Children (Aged 10-16) With ADHD/ADD:

Horse Kid Scholarship 2009 for Danielle Herb’s ADHD Horse

Level 1 Master Class 21st - 28th June 2009- Visit

Start Your Summer In Florida With Danielle Herb, The ADHD/ADD Natural Horsemanship Coach

WHAT: The ADHD Horse Level 1 Master Class is an exciting new weeklong program developed by Danielle Herb and Drop Your Reins to help you manage your ADD/ADHD using natural techniques and without the need for prescription drugs.

WHO: Children Diagnosed with ADHD/ADD Aged 10-16

WHEN: June 21-28, 2009

WHERE: North Florida (Location to be announced)

The Master Class will allow you to teach other young people the skills you learn, while at the same time teaching you how to manage your own ADD/ADHD by learning the language of the horse and mirroring.

By taking part in this Master Class you will discover:

How to manage energy in Positive and Peaceful ways by allowing the horse to mirror you.
How to improve your grades by developing a natural ability to focus.
How to easily plan and manage your diet for natural, positive affects.

Winners of The ADHD/ADD Horse Kid Scholarship will receive:

ADHD Horse Level 1 Coach Certification, allowing you to help other young people (worth $2499)
Lodging and Meals for the duration of the Master Class

A exclusive swag bag filled with books, music, DVD’s and services that will help you
You will gain life skills which will help you to control your ADHD/ADD

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Sue Scheff: Education and Exercise and Kids


By Sarah Newton

Get your students moving

I do believe that a lot of current schooling is failing our young people. It feels, in some cases, that schools have gone backwards in their approach to young people and that despite lots of innovations in education, it feels as if we are no further forward in our approach to education.

As I sit here looking at my bookshelf I am reminded of two books that I really must read, Spark and Brain Rules, which both talk about the effect of exercise on learning. Currently, in the UK, most schools are cutting down on exercise in the curriculum and exercise; it appears to be of secondary importance to results and achievement. And then we wonder why we have an obesity problem among our children. However, there are pockets of amazing things happening, like one school in America that ensures every student has PE each day and has including PE-ready sessions before remedial Maths and English, with incredible results.

Here is why exercise needs to be incorporated into education, study plans and anything to do with learning.

1. Aerobic exercise produces new cells
2. Exercise produces a hormone that is like Miracle Grow for the brain
3. Exercise produces serotonin which helps with memory
4. Exercise produces dopamine that makes us feel happier
5. Exercise produces a hormone that helps with energy
6. The hormones released by exercise are the chemicals that are contained in drugs given to students with ADD.
7. Exercise helps the mood and cognitive ability of students
8. 20 minutes is the maximum one should be sitting still, focused on one thing. This should be followed by a 10-minute exercise break
10. Exercise improves self-esteem
11. Having children exercise before exams can improve their results by 20%

4 tips Schools can give to Parents
Getting your Teen Exercising

1. Have your child walk to school or exercise before school if possible
2. Make sure their breakfast is one that produces glucose
3. Have them exercise before doing homework and take a brain break every 20 minutes
4. Study plans to include exercise and diet as part of the process.

What can schools do to get children moving?

Watch this video and get this book or also listen to this podcast

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sue Scheff: Keeping Your Family Safe Online

The importance of family internet safety education and etiquette is often overlooked by both kids and teenagers today.

While most teens are more ahead of the curve than most parents when it comes to the internet, they may not have the knowledge to help keep them safe from online dangers and its potentially negative effects. On behalf of Girl Scouts of the USA and Microsoft Windows, I have been asked to to introduce you to a new initiative called “LMK (text-speak for “Let Me Know,”) which provides parents and girls with resources catering to both generations, and whose goal is to bridge the digital gap between parents and teenagers.

On, the girl-targeted website, teens can find interactive quizzes, videos, and expert articles to be informed about online safety in a fun way! Girls can comment on the site content, sharing their thoughts, experiences and perspectives on topics many teens face everyday, like cyberbullying and social networking. New content is posted periodically and will cover twelve different areas related to being a teen online today. Teens can even download an interactive patch they can share on social networking sites like Facebook, just by registering for the site at no cost.

Best of all, it’s for all teenagers, not just Girl Scouts! When parents visit, they can sign up for the e-newsletter written and developed by a team of “LMK Teen Editors” who are sharing their knowledge about the ways teens use technology and help parents understand it all. Parents will have the chance to learn need-to-know skills to keep them up to speed with what their kids are doing online too. Expert advice is also offered to give guidance on tougher issues.

If you could, please take a moment to visit these sites, learn more about the initiative, and the wonderful resources found on both , and and hopefully this will help you help your teens!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Parents Universal Resource Experts - Sue Scheff - Join The Voices of Recovery

The Road to Recovery Update keeps you informed about activities leading up to National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month (Recovery Month) in September. Feel free to forward this information to friends and colleagues, include it in newsletters or listservs, or link to it from your Web site.

Last Call for Questions for May’s Ask the Expert: Thomas A. Kirk, Jr., Ph.D., Commissioner, Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services

Questions for the May Road to Recovery Webcast, Providing a Continuum of Care: Improving Collaboration Among Services, are due by Friday, May 22, 2009.

Submit your questions to Dr. Kirk by contacting us. Answers from Dr. Kirk will be posted on the Recovery Month Web site in early June. Contact information for questions will be kept confidential.

Mark Your Calendars for the June 3, 2009, Road to Recovery Webcast: Recovery and the Health Care/Insurance Systems: Improving Treatment and Increasing Access
On June 3, join host, Ivette Torres, Associate Director for Consumer Affairs, Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), for the June 2009 Road to Recovery Webcast.

When the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Act of 2008 becomes effective in 2010, additional options will become available to those seeking addiction and mental health services. The Act will require group health plans to offer coverage for addiction and mental illness and provide benefits on par with those for all other medical and surgical conditions.

This program will examine what impact the Act will have on health care and insurance systems and what it means for individuals and families battling addiction. The show will also explore other issues related to health care’s role in recovery, such as proper screening and intervention, prescription drug abuse prevention, and treating co-occurring disorders.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Parents Universal Resource Experts - Sue Scheff: Radical Parenting

Vanessa Van Petten has been such an inspiration to so many people and many parents! As a young adult she has given us the inside scoop on our teens and the way they are wired today! Her first fantastic book, You’re Grounded, How to Stop Fighting and Make the Teenage Years Easier, was written when she was 17 years old - helping parents see life through a teens eyes. Vanessa Van Petten is one of the nation’s youngest experts on parenting and youth. Her new website - Radical Parenting is becoming very busy!

Here is one of her most recent articles and I am confident many parents will enjoy reading it.


Last week I went over to a client’s house and was working with her on the time management lesson of my program. We were looking at her school planner and slotting in her homework and project schedule. I noticed that for Tuesday night she had highlighted, added stickers and highlighter smiley faces.

“Is it your birthday?” I asked.“No, it’s the night of the 8th grade parent meeting at school!” She replied.“Um, you get that excited for a parent meeting?” I questioned.“Silly, we love parents night because the entire 8th grade can get online and watch videos and hang-out together, we have to make sure I get my homework done on Monday night!”

I am sure, that High School’s parents have no idea that the whole grade not only looks forward to parent meetings like birthday celebrations, but also that they class is bonding and throwing an online party in their respective homes across the city. (She let me blog about this, as long as I keep my promise not to share the school’s name.)

I think, this is a good thing actually:

-It makes them get homework done early
-It helps them bond with each other

-They are all at home, their really rebellious move is to video chat with, gasp, more than two people at once while mom and dad are out.

-The online environment has allowed for an outside of school recess. (I have many posts about how technology has blurred the lines between home, school and social life and this can be a very negative thing, so I want to have at least one article where it is good!)

-They encourage their parents to be involved. Because everyone wants to be able to go to the online party, kids are now encouraging their parents more than ever to join those committees, and attend meetings to stay informed…hey the schools need all of the help they can get!
I asked my teen advisory council and interns what they do when their parents are out, here are some of the answers, listed in order of popularity (there was a very long tail on this one of some very random activities–some of which I chose to include, some of which I left out).

1) YouTube Videos
2) Talk on the phone
3) Text
4) Raid the kitchen
5) Go on AIM/Skype/iChat
6) iTunes and/or listen to music
7) Watch TV/Movies
Invite friends/boyfriend/girlfriend over
9) Play video games
10) Masturbate
11) Prank phone calls
12) Go out
13) Look through parents room/desk/siblings room
14) The same thing I do when they are home
15) Homework

As you can see, it varies. A lot of the time, you can just ask them and they will tell you. Or show them this post and see if they find any of the answers surprising.

Related Articles:

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Parents Universal Resource Experts: Parent and Teen Book now Available!


Award-Winning Author of “It Started with Pop-Tarts (R)”, Lori Hanson, wrote an amazing very quick and easy read parent and teen book. What I loved about this book is it was written in a fashion that addresses some serious issues that teens face today, however in a condensed and easy to understand format.

I literally finished it in less than 2 hours (with many interruptions) and was very impressed how Lori both talked to teens and parents - almost at the same time - and you could feel that Lori is connecting.

I recommend any parents of teens today purchase this book and share it with their teen. What a great way to start communications - since today many parents have lost that connection with many teens.
Oh, did I mention Lori incorporates her dogs (Sasha and Yagger) as analogies - absolutely fantastic - we all love dogs and to see them and their actions helping us as parents to understand human behavior was brilliant and again, something we can all relate to.

You can purchase this book here. Don’ miss it! Get it before it hits the book stores!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Summer Activities and Teens always has great ideas for kids of all ages. I was just forwarded this idea for teens for the summer - creating a Teen Time Capsule!

Check this out - and encourage your teens to gather some friends and have some fun with a blast into the past. This is a fantastic, creative and constructive way to keep your kids busy and having fun!

Make a Teen Years Time Capsule

by Rose Garrett

As a parent looking back on your own high school years, it’s hard to imagine the intellectual development and emotional ups and downs you went through all those years ago. And even for a teen who is still in the throes of high school, or preparing for college, these tumultuous and formative years may quickly become a distant memory.
But remembering the details of what went on, in the world and in your teen’s head, during the high school years can be an important marker in your child’s passage into adulthood. For a fun activity that will have lasting effects, make this time capsule with your high school child, to be opened after college graduation. After a few years, your child won’t believe how far she’s come and how much she’s grown!

What You Need:

Plastic storage bin with lid
Items from your teen’s life as a high schooler (see below)
Duct tape

What You Do:

Time capsules are meant to capture a particular moment in time or moment in history. In this case, you want to help your teen capture what exactly high school was like, and that means academically, socially, and emotionally.


Your teen may have moaned and groaned over that major research paper, but now that it’s finished, it stands as an important testament to the effort he put into his work, and will make an interesting counterpoint to the college work he’ll have completed when he looks at it again. Ideas for academic items to include in your teen’s time capsule include:

Research papers and other long essays
Your teen’s personal statement for college applications, if completed
Art projects and multimedia (that band demo tape, those photo negatives, etc)
A copy of a teacher-written college recommendation (sealed)
Social Life

This one is a biggie, as anyone who’s been a teenager knows. Friendships, crushes and feuds are all part of the process, and once your teen goes through college, she’ll have new insight into the person she’s become since high school (and it will probably be a change for the better). Here are some ideas for items to include in your teen’s time capsule:

Letters and postcards sent between friends, and notes passed during class (you know it’s happened)
Favorite photos of friends and more-than-friends (if digital, you will want to have them printed to include them)
Souvenirs from trips and fun events, such as ticket stubs.
A favorite shirt or piece of jewelry

In high school, teens experience an onslaught of new emotions, and it’s a major part of the path to adulthood. From intense feelings of attraction, competition, jealousy and camaraderie to fears and dreams for the future, emotions rule the day in high school. Here are some suggested additions to your teen’s time capsule, which will help her to remember the emotional roller coaster:

Her journal, if she is prepared to part with it
Best book
Most meaningful movie
Favorite music
Favorite item for her bedroom, such as a poster
Your teen’s favorite picture of herself

Next, brainstorm with your teen about other items she may want to include, such as a newspaper or a photo of Mom and Dad. When your teen has gatherered these items together, fill the plastic storage bin and use duct tape to seal it tightly. If your teen wants, he can decorate the bin or write a message to his future self in permanent marker. Date the bin. Now, you can either bury the bin in the back yard, or hide it away in the garage. Just don’t forget to dig it up when the time is right!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Sue Scheff: Teens and Summer Jobs

A Guide for Teens: How to Find a Summer or Part-Time Job
by Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D.

Even if summer vacation is still a few months away for most teens, now is the time to plan and lay a foundation for landing that cool summer job you really want.

Some caveats: This article is really geared to older high school and college teens, with a focus on summer jobs, not internships. For younger teens (under 15), check out another article I wrote, Job Ideas for Teens 15 and Younger: Beyond Babysitting. For college students looking for internship tips, we’re working on such an article, but for now, please visit: Quintessential Careers: College Internship Resources.

The Action Plan for Teens Wanting a Summer JobThe first step you need to do is decide on the summer job you want or need -– in terms of the type of job, the location, the hours, the pay. You may not be able to find a job that meets all your needs, but given the current employment situation you should strive to find one that meets as many as possible.

The second step you need to do is complete a self-analysis. What do you have to offer an employer? What kind of skills do you have? What kind of other work have you done -– paid or volunteer? What have you learned at school that might be useful in your ideal summer job?

The third step you need to do is develop a resume. You will put forth a very professional image if you present a professional-looking resume to potential employers. You’ll want to visit Quintessential Careers: Resume Resources. You’ll also need to learn about cover letters, so plan on visiting Quintessential Careers: Cover Letter Resources.

The fourth step you need to do is use all your available resources to land that ideal summer job. Talk with your parents and older family members, your friends’ parents, your teachers, and any other adults you know and ask them if they have any contacts at your ideal job’s company. Give them copies of your resume. We call this step networking, and it will give you the highest chances of landing your ideal job.

The fifth step is hitting the pavement, reading the newspaper want ads, and/or surfing the Web. If you don’t get any job leads from the fourth step, you have to take action!

The sixth step is applying for the jobs that interest you. This step is where you again use your resume. Make sure you are familiar with job applications and have all the information you need to complete them.

The seventh step is interviewing for the jobs. Make sure you know something about the company; develop answers to common interview questions; think of a few questions you could ask; practice, practice, practice with a family member of friend; dress conservatively for the interview. You can read these interviewing tips in more detail — and find lots more — by visiting Quintessential Careers: Interviewing Resources.

Where Teens can Find Summer JobsThere are any number of places where you can look for a good summer job:

Local merchants: local stores often need good help – and not just in the summer.

Small businesses: most towns have a number of small business offices – and your family or friends probably know several owners or office managers.

Corporate offices: many have established summer jobs and internship programs, but often these are the most competitive.

Stores at the mall: have a favorite store you like to shop at in the mall? Maybe now is the time to get a job there –- just be careful not to spend all your earnings buying their products.

Hotels and resorts: summer is the busy season for most hotels and resorts.

Tourist attractions: even if you don’t live in Florida or California, most states have tourist attractions that especially need help during the busy tourism season.

Golf & Tennis clubs: as the weather improves, these clubs are usually looking for part-time help.

Grocery stores: maybe not the most exciting jobs, but probably the most convenient -– and not just for summer.

Fast food and restaurants: local restaurants always need good help -– and while not the most glamorous, it’s still a job.

Parks and recreation departments: city, state, and national parks and recreation departments often develop special summer programs, and thus have job opportunities.

Local government summer job programs: often various government agencies sponsor different kinds of summer youth work programs.

Summer camps: okay, you went to camp as a kid – now you can go back as a counselor and get paid while being at camp.

Working for yourself: there are all sorts of jobs/businesses you could develop for yourself in your neighborhood –- Check out my article, Job Ideas for Teens 15 and Younger: Beyond Babysitting.
The Web: especially if you want to work outside your neighborhood, or even your state, the Web is the place for you to explore all sorts of summer job opportunities -– so go visit Quintessential Careers: Summer Job Websites.

What do Employers Look for in TeensEmployers want motivated teens who are going to arrive to work on time, have a positive attitude, work hard, work well with others, show leadership qualities, work their full shift, and do the best job they can. You need to show your employer that you are a good investment, both for the current position, as well as for any potential future positions.

Final Words of AdviceJobs are jobs. You are going to have to work, no matter how “cool” the job or company, so be prepared for some days to not be as great as others. The keys to remember are that you are earning money, you are gaining experience, and you are making good contacts (and references)!

Questions about some of the terminology used in this article? Get more information (definitions and links) on key college, career, and job-search terms by going to our Job-Seeker’s Glossary of Job-Hunting Terms.

Dr. Randall S. Hansen is founder of Quintessential Careers, one of the oldest and most comprehensive career development sites on the Web, as well CEO of He is also founder of and He is publisher of Quintessential Careers Press, including the Quintessential Careers electronic newsletter, QuintZine. Dr. Hansen is also a published author, with several books, chapters in books, and hundreds of articles. He’s often quoted in the media and conducts empowering workshops around the country. Finally, Dr. Hansen is also an educator, having taught at the college level for more than 15 years. Visit his personal Website or reach him by email at randall(at)

Reprinted with permission; copyright Quintessential Careers

Monday, April 27, 2009

Sue Scheff: Inhalant Abuse Prevention Kit


Download this valuable kit today and learn more about inhalant use. It is a serious concern today - since most inhalants are found in your household.

The Alliance for Consumer Education launched ITS Inhalant Abuse Prevention Kit at a national press conference at the National Press Club in Washington DC. The kit was successfully tested in 6 pilot states across the country. Currently, ACE’s Inhalant Abuse Prevention Kit is in all 50 states. Furthermore, the Kit is in its third printing due to high demands.

The Kit is intended for presentations to adult audiences. Specifically parents of elementary and middle school children, so they can talk to their children about the dangers and risks associated with Inhalants. We base the program on data from the Partnership for a Drug-Free America. Statistics show that parents talking to their kids about drugs decrease the risk of the kids trying a drug.

The Inhalant Abuse Prevention Kit contains 4 components: the Facilitator’s Guide, a FAQ sheet, an interactive PowerPoint presentation, and a “What Every Parent Needs to Know about Inhalant Abuse” brochure. Additionally, there are 4 printable posters for classroom use, presentations, etc.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Teens and Tattoo's

This can be a hot topic today - each parent has their own beliefs, however learn more about getting tattoo’s and important information for keeping it safe.

Source: TeensHealth

It seems like everyone has a tattoo these days. What used to be the property of sailors, outlaws, and biker gangs is now a popular body decoration for many people. And it’s not just anchors, skulls, and battleships anymore — from school emblems to Celtic designs to personalized symbols, people have found many ways to express themselves with their tattoos. Maybe you’ve thought about getting one. But before you head down to the nearest tattoo shop and roll up your sleeve, there are a few things you need to know.


A tattoo is a puncture wound, made deep in your skin, that’s filled with ink. It’s made by penetrating your skin with a needle and injecting ink into the area, usually creating some sort of design. What makes tattoos so long-lasting is they’re so deep — the ink isn’t injected into the epidermis (the top layer of skin that you continue to produce and shed throughout your lifetime). Instead, the ink is injected into the dermis, which is the second, deeper layer of skin. Dermis cells are very stable, so the tattoo is practically permanent.

Tattoos used to be done manually — that is, the tattoo artist would puncture the skin with a needle and inject the ink by hand. Though this process is still used in some parts of the world, most tattoo shops use a tattoo machine these days. A tattoo machine is a handheld electric instrument that uses a tube and needle system. On one end is a sterilized needle, which is attached to tubes that contain ink. A foot switch is used to turn on the machine, which moves the needle in and out while driving the ink about 1/8 inch (about 3 millimeters) into your skin.Most tattoo artists know how deep to drive the needle into your skin, but not going deep enough will produce a ragged tattoo, and going too deep can cause bleeding and intense pain. Getting a tattoo can take several hours, depending on the size and design chosen.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Parents Universal Resource Experts - Sue Scheff: Getting Teens Information on Skin Care

Help Kids with Information on Teenage Acne

Almost all teenagers suffer from acne to some degree. In fact, statistics show us that approximately ninety five percent of teenagers suffer from acne. With all the pressures that teens are under these days, the added problem of dealing with acne can lead some to feel overwhelmed. Therefore, it is important, as adults, to have information on teenage acne in order to help the teens with this problem. If left untreated there can be physical repercussions in the form of scarring that will last through adulthood. However, the more serious issues come from the psychological affects teenagers deal with when they have an acne problem.

Teenagers are sensitive and deal with a lot. They are easily thrown into depression and moodiness. Add to typical teenage behavior an acne problem and you may be faced with a child who is sullen, depressed, withdrawn, acts out or has other behavioral issues. For acne in teen boys, they may get teased in the locker room; they may have confidence issues when dealing with girls; they may withdraw from friends and social activities. For acne in teen girls, they may have a negative self image; they may hesitate to get involved with extra curricular activities; they may have a smaller circle of friends. The results of acne can have an enormous impact on a teenager’s life.

The problems resulting from teen acne can be severe. This is especially true if compounded by other issues that are causing problems. However, there is good news. With some teen acne tips you can help alleviate the issue once and for all, restoring a teen’s self confidence and eliminating at least one of the common issues teenagers deal with in today’s society. Most people have some questions regarding teenage acne though: What is acne? How is it caused? What can we do to cure it?

Acne is the term used for the pimples and blemishes found on the skin. It can appear all over the body but is most common on the face, neck, chest and back. Acne can appear in people of all ages, even adults. But, it is most prevalent in teenagers. The severity of the acne problem varies from person to person. Some people may have minor outbreaks occasionally while others have a severe problem. However, almost all teenagers have acne to some degree in their life.

Throughout the generations there has been speculation on how acne caused. This has meant that a lot of old wives’ tales have been started. Chocolate, greasy foods, weight lifting, tight clothing and dirt are all causes of acne, right? No. All of them can help exacerbate a condition but none are the root cause. So before you can properly treat acne, make sure you understand the root cause of it and the cause is hormonal. When a hormonal imbalance occurs in the system, excess oils are produced that clog pores and result in blemishes, redness, pimples and acne cysts.

So, now that the cause for acne is cleared up, how can it be treated? The best treatment for teenage acne means taking a complete view of the acne and treating it fully. Start with a balanced diet. Eating healthy has many benefits and clearer skin is one of them. You should also make sure to clean the skin daily. This can be performed by using over the counter topical creams and cleansers. Use them regularly to maintain a healthy glow, clear away oil, open the pores and to help prevent blemishes. But you still need to treat the root of acne, the hormonal imbalance. This can be done with the use of natural dietary supplements.

When you have a comprehensive treatment plan that includes healthy eating, regular cleaning and supplements, you will have a greater success at curing acne. The acne that is there will go away quickly. Maintaining the skin care regimen will ensure that teenage acne does not return to cause more problems. Before choosing products, though, keep in mind you want a comprehensive program. There are many skin care products on the market today but do not buy into the hype of expensive advertising campaigns.

Instead, research the best products and ideally get a solution that addresses all aspects of a skin care regimen. There are products on the market today that consist of topical cleansers and lotions as well as dietary supplements. These products are most convenient to use because you have all you need in one treatment solution. If you embark on an acne treatment addressing all the needs, your teenager will be more confident and feel better about themselves. With all the problems teenagers have to deal with today, eliminating a source of frustration and depression will go a long way toward helping teenagers get through these tough years. It is an easy solution to a tough problem and one every teen should consider.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Sue Scheff: Cell Phones and Fatalities

“Three days later I woke up out of a coma, just for my husband to tell me that Ryan wasn’t gonna make it.”
– Lisa Duffner, mother

Ryan Duffner’s second birthday was memorable for the Lisa and Rorry Duffner. There were balloons, a cake and wishes for many more, but, unfortunately, it was Ryan’s last birthday. Two months later Ryan and Lisa, while on their daily walk, were hit by a car. The driver was a sixteen-year-old who was dialing her cell phone. The impact threw Ryan thirty feet and Lisa sixty feet. Lisa was knocked unconscious.

“Three days later I woke up out of a coma, just for my husband to tell me that Ryan wasn’t going to make it,” Lisa says, while fighting back tears.

Duffner was in such critical condition that doctors wouldn’t allow her to hold her son in the moments before his death.

“Not to say goodbye to my own baby—that was hard,” she says.

A study by the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis estimates that 6 percent of crashes are due to cell phones, resulting in 2,600 deaths and 12,000 serious injuries per year.

Seventeen-year-old Edgar admits that talking on the phone is often distracting. “When I’m dialing a number or something like that, I’ve caught myself kind of drifting off,” he says.
Edgar uses the cell phone while driving, in spite of his mom’s strict rules. “She’s always freaking out telling me, ‘Don’t be using your cell phone while you’re driving. ‘” Pull over if you have to,’” he says.

Though Lisa Duffner thinks that cell phones are necessary, she doesn’t have much patience for people that can’t take the time to pull over and make the call. “My biggest thing is just to pull over to make your phone call. Are you so self-important that you endanger everybody else’s lives?” she says.

Experts say that looking at a detailed phone bill is a way of checking up on kids’ phone usage. “You can look at that, and you can tell if they’re spending a lot of time on the phone coming from school to home. Then obviously they’re doing it,” says Captain Tommy Brown, Department of Public Safety.

But for teenagers, seeing the effects of what can happen, like the death of a two-year-old, may be the strongest tool for convincing them to hang up and drive.
Ryan’s absence reminds Duffner every day of the dangers of driving-while-distracted. “He was just that happy-go-lucky, jump-off-of-everything, friendly little kid. He just loved life.”

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 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 some 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 standards.

Agree on some 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 following the ground rules. No compliance, no phone.

Harvard Center for Risk Analysis
Liberty Mutual
Rutgers University
Students Against Destructive Decisions- SADD

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Parents Universal Resource Experts - Sue Scheff - Teen Stress

School is winding down, finals are piling up - the stress of getting good grades as well as keeping your GPA up to be able to get into that college or university you dream to go to, can be stressful. Compound that with summer coming and if you are like many teens, looking for a summer job is in the plan but may be more difficult than last summer. The economy is hitting all levels of employment, and parents are not the only ones having stressful times.

Here is a great article I found on TeensHealth. Take the time to learn more about your teen and how stress can effect them.

What Is Stress?

Stress is a feeling that’s created when we react to particular events. It’s the body’s way of rising to a challenge and preparing to meet a tough situation with focus, strength, stamina, and heightened alertness.

The events that provoke stress are called stressors, and they cover a whole range of situations - everything from outright physical danger to making a class presentation or taking a semester’s worth of your toughest subject.

The human body responds to stressors by activating the nervous system and specific hormones. The hypothalamus signals the adrenal glands to produce more of the hormones adrenaline and cortisol and release them into the bloodstream. These hormones speed up heart rate, breathing rate, blood pressure, and metabolism. Blood vessels open wider to let more blood flow to large muscle groups, putting our muscles on alert. Pupils dilate to improve vision. The liver releases some of its stored glucose to increase the body’s energy. And sweat is produced to cool the body. All of these physical changes prepare a person to react quickly and effectively to handle the pressure of the moment.

This natural reaction is known as the stress response. Working properly, the body’s stress response enhances a person’s ability to perform well under pressure. But the stress response can also cause problems when it overreacts or fails to turn off and reset itself properly.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Sue Scheff: Parents Choices of At Risk Teens

Local Therapy:

Local therapy is a good place to start with children that struggling at home and school. To locate a local therapist, it is beneficial to contact your insurance company for a list of adolescent therapists in your area. If you don’t have insurance when calling therapists, ask them if they accept sliding scales according to your income. Check your yellow pages for local Mental Health Services in your area or ask your Pediatrician or Family Doctor for a referral.

Military Schools and Academies:

Military Schools have been around for over a hundred years. Many parents are under the misconception that Military Schools are for at risk children. Military Schools are a privilege and honor to attend and be accepted into. Your child must have some desire to attend a Military School. Many children believe Military Schools are for bad kids, however if they visit a campus they may realize it is an opportunity for them. Many parents start with a Military Summer program to determine if their child is a candidate for Military School.

Military Schools usually do not offer therapy, unless contracted on the outside of the school. They offer structure, positive discipline, self-confidence, small class sizes and excellent academics. Military Schools can build a student’s self-esteem; motivate them to benefit their future both socially and academically.

Traditional Boarding Schools:

Traditional Boarding Schools are like Military Schools, in which your child will have to want to attend and be accepted into the school. There are many excellent Boarding Schools that offer both academics and special needs for students. Many specialize in specific areas such as fine arts, music, and competitive sports. In most cases, therapy is not offered unless contracted on the outside.

Therapeutic Boarding Schools (TBS):

Therapeutic Boarding Schools offer therapy and academics to students. Usually the student has not done well in a traditional school and is making bad choices that could have an effect on their future. Although many of the students are exceptionally smart, they are not working to their ability. Sometimes peer pressure can lead your child down a destructive path. Removing them from their environment can be beneficial to them to focus on themselves both emotionally and academically.

Christian Boarding Schools:

Christian Boarding Schools and Programs for struggling teens offer therapy and academics. They have a spiritual foundation that can assist a child to better understand Christianity as well as bring them closer to a Higher Power. Many offer Youth Groups and activities that can create life skills for a better future. A program with a Christian setting may enhance a child’s better understanding of the world today.

Residential Treatment Center (RTC):

Residential Treatment Centers, similar to a TBS, offer therapy and academics. However Residential Treatment Centers are for children that require more clinical support. Their issues are more specific with substance abuse, eating disorders, self-mutilators, and other behavioral issues.

Summer Programs:

Summer programs are a great place to start if your child is beginning to make bad choices or losing their motivation. Finding a good summer program that can build self-confidence can be beneficial to student’s prior starting a new school year.

Visit for more information and a free consultation

Monday, March 23, 2009

Parents Universal Resource Experts - Sue Scheff - Difficult 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, 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; PURE 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? Visit

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Sue Scheff - Stop Bullying Now!

Kids today, both teens and pre-teens, can be extremely mean and cause emotional issues to their target. What can parents do? Read more about how you can help stop bullying.

What Can Adults Do?

Welcome to the Take a Stand. Lend a Hand. Stop Bullying Now! adult pages. As an adult, one of best ways you can help stop or prevent bullying is to be educated about, and sensitive to, the issue. Bullying is NOT a rite of passage - an undesirable, but sometimes unavoidable, reality of growing up. Rather, bullying is a serious public health issue that affects countless young people everyday. Further, research shows that the effects of bullying can last well into adulthood. Whether you are a concerned parent, an educator or school employee, a health and safety professional, or someone else who works with children, there are many things you can do to help.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Parents Universal Resource Experts - Sue Scheff: Summer Camps

Camp Finders® is a free service which matches children ages 6-18 with appropriate overnight summer camps and teen programs.

Since 1994, Camp Finders® has personally visited approximately 175 sleepaway camps and various teen programs. During this time period, Camp Finders™ has been placing children in overnight camps and in the following teen programs: teen tours; wilderness camps & outdoor adventure; college enrichment; community service; sailing, SCUBA, & marine biology programs; foreign language programs and more…

Overnight camps (all visited by Camp Finders) - these are generally on the East Coast of the USA, in states such as Pennsylvania, New York, Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina & Florida.
Camp Finders® has also visited sleepaway camps in other areas - N. Wisconsin & Colorado.
Teen programs - these are located all over the USA, as well as in Canada, Europe, Australia, Central America, the Caribbean & Virgin Islands, Israel & more…

For years CampFinders helped me find the most exciting, fun and educational camps for my son. Summer is just around the corner - find the camp that best fits your child’s interests! It can be a great learning experience - meeting kids from all over the country!

Like my organization, Rick Maddes, owner and founder of CampFinders, takes the time to visit camps and give parents firsthand information. Call today at 561-865-000031.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Sue Scheff: Inhalant Abuse - Talk to your Teens

Inhalant Abuse is more prevalent than parents think - probably because they are more accessible to kids. Read the following parenting tips on how to talk to your pre-teens and teens about the dangers of inhalant use. Visit for more information.

Source: Inhalant Abuse

• Ask your pre-teen or teenager if he or she knows about Inhalant Abuse or
is aware of other kids abusing products.

• Reinforce peer resistance skills. Tell him or her that sniffing products to get
high is not the way to fit in. Inhalants are harmful: the “high” comes with
high cost.

• Encourage your child to come to you if he or she has any questions about

• Tell your child that the consequences of Inhalant Abuse are as dangerous as
those from abusing alcohol or using illegal drugs. Be absolutely clear
— emphasize that unsafe actions and risky behavior have serious consequences.

• Monitor your teen’s activities — set boundaries, ask questions. Be firm,
know his or her friends and his or her friends’ parents, know where they
meet to “hang out.”

• Educate your child about the dangers, but don’t mention specific
substances unless your child brings them up. While many youngsters know
kids are sniffing some substances, they may not know the full range of
products that can be abused; and you don’t want to give them suggestions.

• Tell your children that you love them and that their safety is your number
one priority. Tell them again…and again…and again.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Sue Scheff: Teenage Acne

Johanna Curtis is a licensed skin care professional and has written articles on how teen acne can affect a teens self esteem and more importantly how she can help. Visit for more great informational articles, Blogs, and her suggestions to help you help your teen look and feel their best. Building self esteem can help your teen make better choices.

95% of teenagers in American suffer from acne. The effects of this common problem can be truly devastating. It isn’t just the scars that are left by a bad case of teenage acne; there are many emotional effects as well. Some of which can follow you for life!

Whether it’s right or wrong, we teach our children that the way we look matters. With this societal dogma come many issues when, as a teen, you cannot look your best. With the blemishes that come with acne, many teens experience self esteem issues. These issues may range from being mildly self-conscious to a complete withdrawal from the world. There are actually many emotional issues that come from our need to look our best combined with a case of acne.
Some of the more common issues that result from teenage acne include:

Reduced Self-Confidence
Social Dysfunction
Poor Self Image
Clinical Depression
Problems with Anxiety
Facial Scaring

The reality of it is that even a mild case of acne can greatly affect the way you live. A few simple blemishes can leave you feeling completely self conscious. For those with more severe cases, they often face ridicule which leads to shame and embarrassment.

With all of this it brings us to the main question:

What can be done for teenage acne? Luckily there is an answer.

A teenage acne solution that will work where other teen acne medications have failed! Before we talk about the real solution, let’s talk about traditional acne treatments. Likely you have tried some of these products, and it’s very likely you found that they simply didn’t perform to your expectations.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Parents Universal Resource Experts - Sue Scheff - Kidfluence

Check out this fantastic and informational website offering webcasts, TV Show, articles and more about today’s teens and all kids. Up to date content on what your kids are doing online and how to understand it all! Yes - all confusing and all ever changing.

Source: Kidfluence

Kidfluence is a brand created to strengthen youth development and education. Through its many programs such as Kidfluence TV, Teen Talk and Teen Screen, Kidfluence aims to be a leading advocate on teen issues.

The heart of the brand is an exciting new television show, Kidfluence TV, that discusses issues, events, and conflicts that affect our youth today.

A diverse group of opinionated personalities ranging from parents, coaches, teachers, professionals, advocates, and of course, tweens and teenagers will contribute to very candid discussions. With so many issues affecting our youth today, everyone has a point of view on what should be done, how matters should be handled.

Kidfluence is a television program that allows everyone to be an influential and a loyal supporter of tackling youth issues head on.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Sue Scheff: Sexting - Teens and Cell Phones

What will be next? It seems today’s parenting tweens and teens becomes more challenging on a daily basis. It is becoming more difficult for parents to keep up with today’s teen technology, not only computers, but their cell phones. What started out as a safety gadget (being able to get in touch with your child or vice versa) now this gadget called a Cell Phone or I-Phone or SideKick or Blackberry, etc - has started a new rage of negative influences - being labeled as “sexting.”

Connect with Kids has a recent article and parenting tips on this latest trend. Take a moment to read more.

Source: Connect with Kids

“They’re taking shots of people in the bathrooms or at parties, people doing certain things that they wouldn’t want to know if they were not under the influences of certain things.”
– Taylor Boggs, 14 year old

According to 17 year old Emily Greene, “People have been taking pictures of girls or guys naked. And they are putting them on the internet and stuff like that.”

Now kids are sending those photos over their cell phones.

“Well, kids will just like put them on the ground and girls will walk over them if they’re wearing a skirt and they’ll take a picture of it,” says Reece Boston, 16. He also says, “I think there are girls who are aware of it, actually. I mean there are girls who’ll go to school and not have any underwear on …it’s really kind of sick.”

Nude photos will embarrass themselves and their family and they may well be illegal - experts say that’s what kids need to hear loud and clear from their parents.

“Parents have 100% of the power, “says psychologist Alduan Tartt, Ph.D., “because most kids won’t admit that they listen to their parents, but what you say to them in an exchange of information is really what they need.”

Some educators and child psychologists recommend that part of the agreement to buy a cell phone for a child should be the parents’ right to check the phone for suggestive pictures.
High school curriculum director Bobby Macris adds, “Ultimately it’s the parents decision… so if they think it’sbeing abused, like anything else … like a car or whatever, they can just take it away from them.”

But some experts argue the real issue is that, in a very sexual culture, too few parents talk to their kids about sex … and too many educators teach only plumbing, all which leaves too many kids on their own. Gail Elizabeth Wyatt, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist at UCLA says, “We’re concerned about their behavior, we certainly don’t want them to be sexually active, we don’t want them to think about sex, and yet they’re exploited daily by the things they see, by the music they hear, by the clothes that they’re reinforced to wear. And they are very poorly guided by parents, by our society, their religions, and generally by everyone that they meet except each other. “

Tips for Parents

Should teenagers be allowed to have camera phones? The wireless industry is hoping parents will say “yes.” Experts say teenagers have become the cell phone market’s fastest growing demographic group. A study by the market research firm Cahners In-Stat Group predicts the number of young cell phone subscribers will explode to 43 million by next year. That means half of all teenagers will own a cell phone, and three out of four will use one, many of which will have cameras built in to them.

Research shows parents are often willing to pay for the cell phone to keep track of their kids. However, parents need to be mindful of the downsides of having camera phones, such as spying on other people, dangerous pranks, etc. Teens, on the other hand, told researchers they use phones mostly for social purposes – and they want more colorful and interesting cell phone options.

The best way to prevent your teenager from using their camera phones in inappropriate ways is to set ground rules and expectations in every area of their life, starting when they are young. If they have a good grasp of right and wrong, it should apply to every area of their lives, including their use of camera phones. Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker, Ed.D., has developed guidelines to follow to monitor your teenager and to keep a closer eye on their behavior.

Get to know the parents of your children’s friends. This is absolutely the most important thing you can do if you want to have access to your children’s world. When your teen begins to “hang” with a new kid, get the phone number, call the parents and introduce yourself. Make a point of giving the child a ride home so you can walk up to the door and shake the parent’s hand. As soon as the kids start making plans to get together, touch base with the other parent to exchange information about rules regarding curfew, acceptable activities and supervision. Responses will range from relief that you are as concerned as they are to resentment that you expect parental support and involvement. Parents who are like-minded are going to become part of the support system that keeps your children safe. Parents who either don’t care where their kids are or who think it’s absolutely fine for them to be unsupervised aren’t going to respond well to being asked to be responsible. You may be dismayed but at least you will know where you stand.
Communicate regularly with those parents. When teens make plans that involve staying at another teen’s house or getting rides to events with other parents, make sure that you have a parent-to-parent communication at some point in the planning process. Make sure that it is really okay with the other parent that your child is sleeping over. Conversely, make sure that the other parent knows if you are driving their children or dropping them at an event. Again, check for agreement about the level of supervision.

Establish the “Three W” rule. Teens need to tell you where they are going, who they will be with, and when they will be back. This is not an invasion of privacy; it’s common courtesy. Adult roommates generally do the same for each other. You don’t need minute details, just the broad strokes of what is being planned for the evening. If something comes up, your child can be located. People engaged in “legitimate” activities don’t need to hide their whereabouts.

Respect privacy, but refuse to accept secretive behavior. It’s important to your teen’s developing sense of independence to have some privacy, but he or she must learn the difference between privacy and secrecy. Your kids do have a right to talk with friends privately, to keep a diary and to have uninterrupted time alone. But if your teen starts being evasive – get busy. Calmly, firmly, steadily insist that you have a right to know who their friends are and what they are doing together. Talk to teachers about who your kid’s friends are as well and start to build alliances with their parents.

Talk regularly with your kids about their choice of friends. Kids often don’t realize that they’ve fallen in with bad company. They like to think that they see something positive in a kid that everyone knows is bad news. They may be drawn to the exotic, the different, the risky. They are teens, after all! And part of the job of adolescence is learning how to judge character. Keep lines of communication with your child open so that you can talk about their relationships.
Support your child’s positive involvement in a sport, art or activity. Generally, kids who come through the teen years unscathed are those who have a passion about something and who develop a friendship circle around it. This could be the football team, the dance studio, the skateboarding club or a martial art dojo. It really doesn’t matter what it is, but what does matter is that you get involved. Provide rides. Watch practices, games and performances. It doesn’t need to take a lot of time or money to let your teen and his or her friends know that you care. Bring the whole team popsicles on a hot day or hot chocolate on a cold one. Let your child – and his or her group – know that you are willing to put your time, money and energy into supporting healthy activity.

Help your child get a job. If your child spends too much time at loose ends and doesn’t have a sport or an activity, at least get him or her working. A job teaches life skills, eats up idle time and helps kids feel good about themselves.

Act swiftly and certainly when something unacceptable happens. Your son isn’t where he said he would be? Go find him. Your daughter’s friend invited a boy into the house when she thought you had gone to sleep? Get dressed and take everybody home. Your kid comes home drunk? Put him or her to bed for the rest of the night, but deal with it first thing in the morning. Be consistently clear, kind and definite in response to unacceptable behavior and kids will see that you really won’t tolerate it.

Model adult behavior when you are in conflict with your teen. Whatever you do, don’t yell, threaten, preach or “lose it” if you don’t like a behavior, a friendship or how your child interacts with you. You will render yourself totally ineffective with your teen. Your child will take you far more seriously if you insist that the two of you focus on managing the problem instead of yelling at each other.

National Safety Council
AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety
Progressive Phone Safety Tips

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Sue Scheff: Teen Help - Troubled Teens - Teen Intervention

Are you struggling with debating whether you need to look for outside help with your troubled teenager?

Are you ready to make some very difficult decisions? Are you at your wit's end?

Do you believe you need teen intervention from outside resources? Struggling financially and emotionally with this decision?

Are you willing to share your story on TV? This is not about exploiting your family, but helping others that are silently suffering and not realizing they are not alone as well as giving your teen a second opportunity at a bright future. Most remember Brat Camp - this is a bit different. Starting with educating parents about the first steps in getting your teen help - determination and transportation.

If you are interested in participating, read below and contact Bud and Evan directly.

Brentwood Communications International is an award-winning television production company in Los Angeles, California. We have recently begun work on a new television series about the real life work of interventionist / transporter Evan James Malmuth of Universal Intervention Services (“UIS”).

If you would be willing to allow us to film your case / intervention for the television series, Evan Malmuth and Universal Intervention Services will provide intervention / transportation services at no charge to you. In addition, we will negotiate at least one month of treatment services at a qualified treatment center at no charge with the purchase of at least two additional months of treatment at pre-negotiated discount rates. At the current rate of these services, this represents thousands of dollars in savings.

BCII and Evan Malmuth are not interested in making exploitative reality television. We are committed to helping you and your family and improving lives through the media.

If you are interested in participating in the show and using the services of Evan Malmuth and UIS, please contact us right away. Every day counts.


Phone: 818-333-3685

With best regards,

Bud Brutsman, CEO - Brentwood Communication Intl., Inc.

Evan James Malmuth, CEO - Universal Intervention Services

Brentwood Communications International, Inc.
3500 N. San Fernando Blvd., Burbank, CA 91505

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Parents Universal Resource Experts - Sue Scheff - Teen Study Skills has been helping parents with their children that are struggling with completing homework or needs help understanding and learning study skills. Take a moment to review their free offer that can help you help your teen. is a free and effective alternative to tutoring. With experts and knowledgeable community members available 24/7, we leverage the popularity of online social networks to boost your child’s understanding and grades. And don’t forget, you can brush up on your own knowledge anonymously as well. Sign up today.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Sue Scheff: Teens Learning More from Physical Exercise

Researchers are finding that exercise can not only keep you fit, but make you smarter. A school in Illinois has developed a program that gets students moving and learning. Debbye Turner Bell reports.

Visit for more great information.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Sue Scheff: Prevent CyberBullying

This is a very interesting article that will make parents think when safety trumps privacy - do you suspect your teen or tween is posting disturbing photos or communicating with questionable others? As a parent is is our responsibility to help keep our kids safe online. Having open lines of communication can help tremendously and helping them to understand the consequences of unflattering posts is critical.

We will spy on your teen’s website for you

More and more worried parents are resorting to using data-tracking services to keep up with what their teenagers are doing on the internet, writes Siobhan Cronin

Irish parents are the best in Europe at monitoring their kids on the internet. However, their kids are the least likely of all European children to turn to mum or dad for advice when something happens to them online.

These were the results of a recent survey by the European Commission into internet supervision by parents.

While our parents might be good at keeping tabs on their kids, cyber bullying is still on the increase, sometimes with tragic results.

Cork girl Leanne Wolfe’s horrific tales of bullying were revealed in her diary, days after her death by suicide last year.

Her sister later told of the nasty text messages and vicious internet entries which led Leanne to take her own life.

It is real-life stories like Leanne’s which have led thousands of American parents — and now a few hundred Irish ones — to resort to using a service that will keep tabs on what their children are reading, and uploading, on the web.

But it’s not just bullying that worries parents. Unfettered access to the web for our kids has also meant open access to them from anyone who is ‘roaming’ around in cyberspace.

This has led some parents to take the ultimate action — spying on their own children.

The founder of Reputation Defender, Michael Fertik, has been called to justify his online service: “Would you like to know your 16-year-old daughter is putting pictures of herself wearing only a bra on the web? Yes. People are not born with good judgment and it rarely develops by 15,” he says.

But another defence of Fertik’s service is, he claims, the prevalence of web bullying.

“When we were at school, we wrote mean notes to each other but you threw the piece of paper out the next day — now it’s on the internet wall forever,” he says.

Fertik’s solution, MyChild, scours the internet for all references to your child — by name, photography, screen name, or social network profiles.

For about €9.95 per month, the ‘online spy’ will send you a report of what your child has posted on the worldwide web.

Its approach is unashamedly tapping into parents’ paranoia: “Worried about bullies? Concerned that your teens’ friends and peers are posting inappropriate materials online,” the site asks.

Fertik, who says he has a “few hundred” Irish customers already, says his company grew out of a need to protect online privacy.

“Young people do the same things that they always did,” he points out. But now it’s on a wall on a web page. The internet is like a tattoo parlour.”

The firm, which started in his apartment in Kentucky, and now employs 65 staff servicing 35 countries, brought in revenues of $5.5m (€4.3m) this year.

He insists there is no “hacking” involved. His staff go through legitimate channels, but are simply better trained in the ways of teenage internet usage than most parents.

“We always encourage the parent to get the password — we don’t want to be spying on kids,” he adds.

One of the things that often causes concern among parents is the practice of their own lives being discussed on a website. “These things have always been discussed by children, but now it’s up there for everyone to see. Things like: ‘My parents are fighting’ or ‘I think they are going to get a divorce’.”

In pre-web days, we all had very intimate conversations with our peers about our home lives — either in person, or on the phone. Now it’s all on the internet, Fertik notes.

Once the offending material is identified, Reputation Defender can delete it, on the instructions of the parent, whether it involves comments, photographs or videos posted on social-networking sites, or on chat rooms or forums.

The service has become so popular that the company now offers packages to adults to manage search engine results, ‘reputation’ for career purposes, and general ‘privacy’ — so that you can stop sites selling your personal information to others.

But that very privacy is the reason that children’s rights organisations around the world have come out strongly against the practice.

Michael McLoughlin of Youthwork Ireland, which provides support and youth services for over 40,000 young people, says that while there may be some justification of the service for younger teens, this could become somewhat blurred when dealing with children of 16 or 17 years of age.
“At that stage in their lives they should really know what they are doing themselves,” he says. Youthwork Ireland is currently preparing guidelines for youth workers dealing with online bullying. “We try to tool them up on social networking, and try to improve the safety aspects.”
The ISPCC agrees that children need to be made aware of the risks of online networking.

However, National Childline Manager Margie Roe says that while parents need to respect privacy and maintain trust, they also need to police their children if they think they might be in any danger.

“If a parent is concerned about their child, they have a right to protect them,” she says.
“They need to be careful they don’t damage the trust between them and their child, but if they feel their behaviour is in anyway unusual, or their child is disappearing a lot, then it could be justified.”

This would be particularly relevant if parents are concerned their children might be making plans to hook up with people they have only met online, says Margie.

Michael Fertik is adamant that he is not doing anything ethically wrong.

“If a kid is 18 or older, we won’t do it. Parents who are signing up for this feel they don’t know how to keep up with their kids and they don’t understand Facebook or Bebo.”

He says the children themselves have mastered the art of ‘multiple’ personalities, in order to make discovery of their sites more difficult, but Reputation Defender is on their case.

However, even Fertik’s own ’solution’ can be subject to unsavoury interference. The system flags a query when the last name of the parent does not match the child’s, prompting further requests from the applicant, before they are given information on the child’s use of the web.
Fertik’s attitude appears to be that online surveillance is now a necessary evil in our modern world.

“There is no medical privacy for kids, no legal privacy. We are not suggesting they shouldn’t be allowed use the internet, but it’s like driving a car — you want to make sure they know how to drive first.

“We are not spying on someone else’s kid. It’s a new day, the internet brings new threats, and we need new armour.”
- Siobhan Cronin