Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Sue Scheff: Supervising Parties by Connect with Kids

“As we walked out to the street to see what all the commotion was about, the van had 30-foot flames shooting out of it. Someone had screamed that there was a girl inside who they had pulled out of the van.”

– Bill Strickland, father

With spring break and prom just around the corner, parents have good reason to be extra vigilant about underage drinking -- and not just to protect their own kids. With more states enacting parental liabilities laws than ever before, parents also have to protect themselves.

Brad Brake and Bill Strickland are neighbors, and their daughters wanted to have a party.

“They basically asked if I would provide alcohol and I wouldn’t, and Bill wouldn’t,” says Brad, father. “And I basically let it be …you’d almost call it turning a blind eye.”

The dads’ policy: don’t ask; don’t tell. But more than 200 kids showed up at the party -- many with their own alcohol.

“This is a news clipping from the day after our party. And it says ‘West Side erupts in bizarre night of violence’ and I highlighted the ‘huge party’ [phrase]. Because that’s all that mattered to us,” laughs Shelby, 17.

Parties like this are one reason that 23 states have now passed “social host” laws.

“If you’re a homeowner, you have the positive responsibility to ensure that these out-of-control parties do not happen in your home. And if that happens, if it occurs and the police have to come, the firemen have to come, the ambulances have to come and someone gets hurt, you’re held responsible for the cost to the community,” says Jim Mosher, J.D., Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation.

The police did come to the girls’ party that night. It seems that two boys got into an argument and one went outside and threw gasoline into the other boy’s van.

“And as we walked out to the street to see what all the commotion was about, the van had 30-foot flames shooting out of it. Someone had screamed that there was a girl inside who they had pulled out of the van,” says Bill.

The girl from the van was passed out – drunk -- but the officers pulled her out just before the van filled with fire. For Bill and Brad, there were no arrests, no lawsuits, no fines. But many parents say it’s still a struggle to know the right thing to do.

“I can’t forbid my children from drinking. That’s the best way in the world to have them shut off from me, to not tell me the truth. And truth in my house is king,” says Bill.

Others say the solution is simple:

“We need to stop this, this is not okay. And it is particularly not okay that it’s happening with the concurrence and the support of parents,” says Mosher.

Tips for Parents

Parents need to know that hosting parties where alcohol is being served to minors is not only illegal, but also extremely dangerous for their kids, for others and for themselves, given the legal liabilities they face. (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, NHTSA)

While all states and the District of Columbia have 21-year-old minimum drinking age laws, more than 20 percent of young people below the legal drinking age reported driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs or both in the past year, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. (NHTSA)

A recent survey commissioned by The Century Council, a national non-profit organization dedicated to fighting drunk driving and underage drinking, revealed that 65 percent of underage youth say they get alcohol from family and friends (interpreted as meaning they get it from their parents, their friends’ parents, older siblings or friends, with or without their permission).
Most troubling, some parents have become willing accomplices in planning teen parties and turning a blind eye to alcohol use in their own homes. (NHTSA)

Laws vary from state to state, but in many states, parents who break these laws could be forced to pay all medical bills and property damages in the case of a crash, and could also be sued for emotional pain and suffering when there is severe injury or death. (NHTSA)

Parents should help plan their teenagers’ parties to ensure they are alcohol-free: (NHTSA)

Help make the guest list and limit the number to be invited. Send personal invitations to avoid the dangers of “open parties.”

Put your phone number on the invitation and encourage calls from other parents to check on the event. Think about inviting some of the other parents to help during the party and to help you supervise to ensure no alcohol or drugs are present, and to help ask uninvited attendees to leave.

At the party, limit access to a specified area of your property. Make sure there is plenty of food and soft drinks available. Make regular, unannounced visits to the party area throughout the evening.

Most importantly, tell parents to talk honestly with their kids to make sure their kids know they are concerned for their safety. (NHTSA)


National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
The Century Council

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Sue Scheff: Free Speech or Lack of Parenting?

I was contacted by CNN News in regards to this recent story.

As a parent advocate, I am proactive in helping parents protect their children in Cyberspace - whether it is monitoring their MySpace account - or using other protective measures such as Reputation Defender/MyChild to monitor your child’s privacy - but this story completely shocked me.

How can a parent condone a 13 year old writing about a principal in sexual ways? Where is this coming from? The parent is claiming their son has “free speech” - and they are correct about that, but when your 8th grader is calling someone a rapist or child molester without any substantiated evidence, in my opinion, this could be considered defamation - and as I continue as a voice against Internet Defamation - “Free Speech does not condone defamation.” Furthermore - the writings of “giving students anal” or “jacking off in my office” - is absolutely disgusting that a 13 year old writes this way. This is my personal opinion.

Read Below:

FEBRUARY 21–The parents of an Ohio boy who was expelled this month for creating a phony MySpace profile that described his middle school’s principal as a child molester have filed a federal lawsuit claiming that the 13-year-old’s free speech rights have been violated by education officials. Toader and Marianna Osan claim that their son (who is identified only by his initials in U.S. District Court filings) was improperly booted from the eighth grade at Hillside Middle School in Parma after educators learned of the boy’s creation of a MySpace page for principal Jeff Cook. The MySpace profile, which was headlined “Your Princeypal,” did not carry Cook’s name, but it included his photo and identified him as the Hillside Middle School principal. The since-removed profile, an excerpt of which you’ll find below, listed Cook’s general interests as “giving students anal” and “jacking off in my office,” and named his heroes as Michael Jackson, Adolph Hitler, and Saddam Hussein. For his vulgar online handiwork, “M.O.” was first suspended, and then, on February 7, was informed that he was being expelled (for “malicious harassment”) until June 10, effectively the end of the school year, according to a February 20th court filing. His parents argue that students “disrespecting teachers outside of school is an age-old tradition, and one from which teachers neither need nor deserve protection…It would be naive to think that even the most popular principal is not the subject of student ridicule and parody.” The Osans are seeking their son’s immediate return to school and a judicial order protecting his off-campus speech, which previously included the observation that Cook had an affinity for the Purple Penetrator, a sex toy.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Sue Scheff: Helping Teens Avoid Bad Decisions – and Risky Situations

Good Kids, Bad Choices

All kids make mistakes … but some bad choices can lead to terrible outcomes. As parents, we need to do everything in our power to help our children learn to make smart decisions. How do you help your kids learn about the consequences of a split-second decision? How do you help them avoid dangerous and risky situations?

Learn what leads kids to make bad decisions… and how parents can help with Good Kids, Bad Choices.

What is your greatest fear for your child? Car accident? Drug or alcohol addiction? Sexually transmitted disease? Unplanned pregnancy? Physical disability? Death? When it comes to learning how to avoid bad decisions, children need the guidance and insights that only parents can provide.

So how do parents learn what situations kids get themselves into? Why they make bad choices?

Order Good Kids, Bad Choices and find out.

You’ll see real teenagers talk about the split-second decisions they made … the terrible outcomes … and what they wish they had done instead. You’ll learn tips from experts and parenting advice about the steps you can take to help your child learn to make better decisions. And you’ll hear the inspiration from families who can help your family – before it’s too late.
As a parent advocate (Sue Scheff) keeping parents informed about today’s teens and the issues they face today is imperative for parents, teachers and others to continue to learn about.
Connect with Kids, like Parents’ Universal Resource Experts, brings awareness to parents and other raising with and working with today’s kids.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Sue Scheff: Myths About Military Schools

As a parent of a student that graduated Military Schools, I can speak from first hand experiences. My son started Military School in the 8th grade and graduated with Honors. He will tell you that there were some hard times, but in the end, he wouldn’t have changed a thing.

There are many myths about Military Schools. Parents believe they are similar to “boot camps” and will straighten up a troubled teen. On the contrary - your child has to be accepted into a Military School. Acceptance can be in accordance with his grades (GPA), and/or letters of references from his previous school, and/or his desire to attend.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 tuition’s vary.

Most start at $20,000.00 per school year. There is financing available through lenders and some scholarships. For more first hand information on Military Schools email me at

Monday, February 18, 2008

Sue Scheff: Wrapped in the Web - Teen Internet Addiction

In today’s society, the Internet has made its way into almost every American home. It is a well-known fact that the web is a valuable asset for research and learning. Unfortunately, it can also be a very dangerous place for teens. With social networking sites like Myspace and Friendster, chat rooms, instant messaging, and online role-playing video games, our children are at access to almost anyone. Sue Scheff, along with Parent’s Universal Resource Experts™, is tackling the dangers of the web.

Keeping tabs on our teens’ online habits doesn’t just keep them safe from online predators. More and more parents are becoming wary of the excessive hours their teens spend surfing the web, withdrawing from family, friends and activities they used to enjoy. Internet Addiction is a devastating problem facing far too many teens and their families. While medical professionals have done limited research on the topic, more and more are recognizing this destructive behavior and even more, the potential mental effects it can have.

Though the web is a great place for learning and can be safe for keeping in touch, it is important that families understand the potential risks and dangers to find a healthy balance between real and virtual life.

Learn more about Teen Internet Addiction.

Do you have a struggling teen? At risk teens? Defiant Teen? Teen Depression? Problem Teen? Difficult Teen? Teen Rage? Teen Anger? Teen Drug Use? Teen Gangs? Teen Runaways? Bipolar? ADD/ADHD? Disrespectful Teen? Out of Control Teen? Peer Pressure?

Find about more about Boarding Schools, Military Schools, Christian Boarding Schools, Residential Treatment Centers, and Therapeutic Boarding Schools.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Colleges, Potential Employers, Future Clients and Networking Sites

We keep hearing about more and more people searching online for background information on potential new employees, college applicants, or if someone is considering using your business for a service or trade.

Parents need to take the time now with their kids to show them what they create on their MySpace profiles, Facebook, Friendster and other Social Networking sites could potentially effect their future.

We, as parents, need to make them aware of what they put on there today - could effect them tomorrow. Of course, kids don’t quite understand that the future comes faster than they can imagine. After-all, in most cases college is years away! (In reality they are only 2-8 years away - which isn’t that far off, but feels like an eternity to a child).

Take the time to offer examples and show how what they may deem as funny today, could potentially cause embarrassment later. Remember, what is posted on the net today - has the potential of staying there forever!

Teaching your kids to make smart online decisions is now part of parenting our kids today. One service I always recommend parents consider, that is very cost effective, is Reputation Defender MyChild. This service helps monitor your child’s activity that is relevant to their name and privacy.

Another article I found to help parents and offer tips is Colleges and Networking Sites by Connect with Kids. Take a moment to check out the Tips for Parents.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Loving Your Kids is Easy: Parenting Teenagers is Hard!

Parents today face very real and sometimes frightening concerns about their children’s lives. As they get older, your kids have their own interests, problems, even their own language. So what's the key to parenting?

You could buy a book…but your child probably won’t read it. You could search the Internet for advice, and ask other parents. Those are good options, but there's one that's even better for parenting teenagers: reality-based DVDs for kids and parents to watch and learn together. Parents don’t typically think of buying a DVD to help them with the issues their children or a problem teenager faces, but this is powerful positive television programming produced by the Emmy® award-winning Connect With Kids team.

Build Your Own Library

We have a complete library of half-hour programs devoted to parenting teenagers and kids, all related to social, emotional and physical health. These aren’t lectures or scare tactics strictly about how to deal with a problem teenager; they’re true stories of real kids facing issues like drugs, drinking, STDs, obesity, racism, peer pressure, body image, bullying, and more.

These powerful stories are unscripted, unrehearsed and told in kids’ own words, so your children will easily relate to them without feeling defensive, embarrassed, pressured or talked down to. The kids' stories are supported with interviews and advice from leading child specialists, health experts, educators and counselors.

Watching together is a great way to start talking with your kids. Each 30-minute video is only $19.95, and comes with a Viewing Guide with facts, suggested conversation starters and professional advice. To order, visit our products page.

As a Parent Advocate, Connect with Kids offers a great number of informational articles, DVD's, video's and more to help parents understand today's kids.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Teen Pregnancy by Sue Scheff

Every year, approx. 750,000 teenage girls become pregnant in the United States. That is roughly 1/3 of the age group’s population, a startling fact! Worse, more than 2/3 of teens who become mothers will not graduate from high school.

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

Our organization, Parent’s Universal Resource Experts (P.U.R.E.™) works closely with parents and teenagers in many troubling situations, such as unplanned pregnancy. We understand how you feel!

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

We have created this website as a reference for parents dealing with teenage pregnancy in hope that we can help you through the situation and make the best decisions.

Learn More about Teen Pregnancy - Click here.