Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Sue Scheff: Teen Cults

Teen cults claim many victims each year

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Sue Scheff: Understanding the Power of Media & Its Effect on Kids

by Connect with Kids

Selling Children: How Media Affects Kids

The 31.6 million kids in America today represent the largest generation in U.S. history. These kids – who collectively spend $200 billion each year on products and are a major target for advertisers and marketers – are recipients of a “marketing campaign that never stops.” Messages about body image, self-worth and sexuality are everywhere in advertising. What is their impact on the health and well being of children and teens – and their parents’ wallets?

Experts agree that too often television, music lyrics, movies – and the advertising messages surrounding them – sell discontent, playing upon our children’s youthful vulnerability. They say that media literacy, learning to understand these messages, can actually help kids learn to think for themselves.

What can you do to help your children understand the power of the media – and become more critical thinkers?

Watch Selling Children: How Media Affects Kids with your kids and learn ways to help kids become more aware of the underlying messages: how to decode them, question them and, ultimately, understand them.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Parents Universal Resource Experts (Sue Scheff) The Feingold Program

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

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Parents Universal Resource Experts (Sue Scheff) Teen Internet Addiction

More and more we are getting calls that today's kids seem to be addicted to their screens - whether it is texting, IM'g or just late night Cyber-Chats, parents need to educate themselves on the where their kids are surfing online.

Saturday, April 26, 2008


Article published Apr 22, 2008
Local angle
The death of a 19-year-old South Bend man earlier this year shows that inhalant abuse can and does occur in our area.
In that case, the victim died of asphyxia caused by inhaling compressed air used to clean computer keyboards.
Police say the practice is not uncommon.

— Ed Semmler, Tribune staff writer

Inhalants a deadly drug of choice

South Florida Sun-Sentinel

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Jason Emanuel was a troubled 20-year-old whose drug of choice was keyboard cleaner.

He sucked can after can of products such as Dust-Off until his lips turned blue and the euphoria set in. He came to a Delray Beach, Fla., sober house to get clean.

Instead, he was arrested for "huffing" three times over four weeks and died after his final high set off a seizure.

Jason Emanuel's case reflects the danger of household products in the hands of young people looking for an easy hit. Indeed, Emanuel chose inhalants because there is no middle man, other than a checkout clerk. Compared with other drugs, the number of people who die from inhalants is small, but there is growing concern over the No. 1 drug of middle-schoolers, who studies show see huffing as a low-risk hit.

"Jason was not a criminal," his adoptive father, Chris Emanuel, said. "He wasn't a guy that would stick up the 7-Eleven. He had a problem and eventually it defeated him."

The coroner's report, which determines cause of death, is not complete yet.

Chris Emanuel last saw his son in mid-December, about the same time the North Carolina native was first arrested in Boynton Beach, Fla. Twice police found him in his car huffing outside Wal-Mart. A third time, he was outside SuperTarget. Each time, he appeared unsteady on his feet and was incoherent, according to police reports.

Using Jason Emanuel as an example, police in January called a news conference to warn parents about huffing. They called him the "poster child" for inhalant abuse. More than 2 million kids ages 12-17 chose an inhalant to get high, according to the Alliance for Consumer Education, which operates the Web site

What they huff is found at home, with more than 1,400 household products as potential hits.

"This is a tragic situation that highlights the dangers of inhalant abuse and should force every parent to have a conversation with their children about the deadly consequences," police spokeswoman Stephanie Slater said in a statement.

Inhalants affect the body like alcohol does: slurred speech, lack of coordination and dizziness. Some users experience hallucinations and delusions. More severe are the long-term effects, such as liver and kidney damage, hearing loss, limb spasms and brain damage.

Because the high lasts only a few minutes, users prolong the feeling by huffing for hours. Chemical-induced cardiac arrest can happen any time, said Dr. Jeffrey Bernstein, medical director of the Florida Poison Control covering South Florida.

Even without an autopsy, Jason Emanuel's final encounter with police on Feb. 26 reveals the role inhalants played in his death. Days before, he was kicked out of the Delray Beach halfway house where he came to get sober. For three days he lived in his car, and on the last, sheriff's deputies were called to Wal-Mart west of West Palm Beach, Fla.

Jason Emanuel told the deputies he had been huffing that afternoon, said Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Teri Barbera. Paramedics took him to the hospital and, on the way, he suffered a seizure and stopped breathing.

On average, 100 to 125 people across the United States die from inhalants annually, said Harvey Weiss, spokesman for the National Inhalant Prevention Coalition. But the numbers may be higher, he said. There is no national clearinghouse on inhalant-related deaths.

An interim report from Florida's medical examiners attributes three deaths to inhalants in 2007. In contrast, cocaine killed 398 people in the state last year. The prescription drug Oxycodone claimed 323 lives. Anti-drug advocates say inhalants are just as dangerous.

"You see kids on YouTube joking around, laughing and having fun, and the risk really isn't conveyed," said Colleen Creighton, the consumer alliance's executive director. "The frightening thing for us is how young the kids are who are using."

A government study released last month showed inhalants are the drug of choice for 12- and 13-year-olds. As they get older, many teens switch to marijuana.

Jason Emanuel was the opposite. His father said he smoked marijuana in high school but took up huffing about a year ago.

"He got off marijuana because he didn't like finding dealers," he said. "You can go to any place and find an inhalant."

Jason Emanuel grew up in an upper-middle-class neighborhood in Charlotte, N.C. The product of private schools, he was a bright kid who had big ambitions. Ultimately, he dropped out after his first semester at Appalachian State University to go into rehab.

His parents sent him to rehabilitation centers around the United States, but he veiled his troubles to his friends.

"He just didn't act like someone who was a drug addict," Elliot Engstrom, 19, a childhood friend, said.

"With my generation, people get so concerned with drugs you hear about in pop culture. That's really not the problem. It's the prescription drugs and the stuff you buy at Wal-Mart."

Friday, April 25, 2008

Sue Scheff: Parents Need to Learn More About Inhalant Abuse

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

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

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

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


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Sue Scheff - Teen Runaways - a growing problem

A Growing Problem for Today's Families

One of any parent's greatest fears is a missing child.

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

Confused, pressured and highly impressionable teens follow their peers into bad choices. In most cases, runaway teenagers want to escape the rules and regulations of their family and household.

Disagreements with parents leave them unhappy and frustrated to the point of rebellion.

Naiveté leads them to believe they could survive outside the nest; and dreams of a life without parental guidance, rules and punishment seem ideal.

The dangers of a runaway lifestyle are obvious. Afraid and desperate, teens on the street are easy targets for robbery, rape, prostitution, drug addiction and violent crime.

While the official Runaway Hotline cites nine out of ten teens return home or are returned home by the police within a month, any amount of time on the street can change a child forever.

Protecting our children from a potential runaway situation is incredibly important; the problem is serious, and the effects are severe.

My name is Sue Scheff, and through my organization, Parents Universal Resource Experts, I am working to keep America's teens safe. A troubled teenager is a difficult and uphill battle, but you are not alone! As parents, we must work together to educate and support each other through the crisis.

The best resource is that of someone who has been there; and at P.U.R.E, parents can find the information and support of so many dealing with the same situations.

Are you worried that your troubled teen will run away from home? We have compiled some of the most helpful resources on teenage runaways.

Visit our website, Help Your Teens and our Teen Runaway Website. You are not alone!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Parents Universal Resource Experts (Sue Scheff) What Your Children Are Doing Shouldn't Be A Mystery

Who’s pressuring your kids? Who’s offering them alcohol or drugs? Who’s talking to them on the Internet?

Whether we’re teachers, parents, counselors…sometimes we just don’t know what’s really going on in a child’s life. If you want to talk to your kids about the challenges they face, but aren’t sure what to say, our programs will help…with real kids sharing their true stories, and advice from experts, educators and parents who have “been there.”

Click here for a fantastic educational resource to help you help your kids!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Sue Scheff: Kids Addicted to Screens

By Connect with Kids

“Instead of using that time to become an adult, learning how to talk to adults, learning how to talk to women, learning how to talk to men, learning how to figure out what they want to do with their lives -- those are hours that are lost, that can never really be regained,”

– says Dr. Timothy Fong, M.D., addiction psychiatrist

The American Medical Association (AMA) reports that 5 million American kids are addicted to video games. In fact, if you add the time some children and teens spend in front of a screen -- TV, computer, cell phone or video game -- it equals more hours than anything else in their lives except sleep! And that begs the question: if they spend so much time plugged in, what are they missing out on?

Sabrina and her brother Ruben are fighting over the family computer. At the same time, their younger brother Daniel is playing video games with a friend.

“It’s just fun killing other people and stealing their stuff,” says Daniel, 8.

Sister Alinna waits to watch her favorite program on the big-screen TV.

“I dream about watching TV, and I watch Sponge Bob in my head,” says Alinna.

Four kids in one family who love anything with a screen.

“It’s just nowadays it seems like they’re a lot lazier and just want to sit on the tube and on the phone all the time,” says Harry Delano, the children’s father.

In fact, researchers at the University of Montreal found that one-third of teens spend about 40 hoursa week in front of a screen. For all those hours, what are the kids not doing? Experts say they’re not reading, studying, exercising or even just talking with other people.

“Instead of using that time to become an adult, by learning how to talk adults, learning how to talk to women, learning how to talk to men, learning how to figure out what they want to do with their lives -- those are hours that are lost, that can never really be regained,” says Dr. Timothy Fong, M.D., addiction psychiatrist.

Yolanda has tried to limit the time her children spend in front of a screen.

“Well, my mom gives me an hour on Myspace, but I usually do like three hours -- if they don’t notice,” says Sabrina, 16.

“Even though I get frustrated with it, I allow it to happen because that’s what makes her happy,” says Yolanda.


If you are interested in this story, you may also be interested in these parent videos:

Tips for Parents

If your children are like most children, they spend too much time glued to the screen watching television, surfing the Internet and playing video games. So how can you break this habit without wrecking havoc in the home? The answer, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, is to find fun, positive activities that children enjoy and to smartly manage their screen time.

Experts suggest parents limit children’s total screen time to no more than one to two hours of quality programming per day. (CDC)

Following are 10 tips for parents to help their children make a painless transition from couch potato to a physically and pro-socially active child: (CDC)

Remove television sets from children’s bedrooms.

View television programs with children and discuss the content.

Use the VCR to show or record high-quality, educational programming for children.

Suggest several options for positive physical and pro-social activities that are available through local park districts, schools and community programs.

Recommend pro-social activities, such as volunteering at the Humane Society, local nursing homes, special-needs camps, etc.

Encourage alternative activities for children, including hobbies, athletics and creative play.
Form coalitions including libraries, faith-based organizations, and neighborhood groups to help provide physical and social environments that encourage and enable safe and enjoyable physical activity, including new sidewalks, safe parks and keeping close-to-home physical activity facilities open at night.

Ensure that appropriate activity options are available for disabled children.

Serve as a good role model; be active physically, and be available and interested when your children are viewing television and surfing the Internet in the home.


The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)

Monday, April 14, 2008

Parents Universal Resource Experts (Sue Scheff) Family Dinners and Eating Disorders

“If you have dinner with your family, including your kids, five nights a week, you have amazing results. You seem to have less incidence of a lot of problems that parents worry about with their teens.”

– Nancy McGarrah, Ph.D., psychologist

The average American woman is 5’ 4” and weighs 140 pounds. The average American model is 5’ 11” and weights 117 pounds. For millions of girls, that difference translates into dangerous eating disorders and extreme diets. What can parents do to help protect their daughters?

Sometimes starvation diets, binging and purging, or overuse of diet pills are used to correct a flaw no one else can see.

“I just see myself as really fat and gross,” says Lauren, 16.

‘I started buying fitness magazines and they all said to diet. I just couldn’t see reality. I saw fat where there wasn’t any,” says Maggie, 17.

‘I think I’m really fat right now, and that’s why I want to lose weight,” says Shelby, 18.

A new study in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine reports a positive way to reduce the risk of an eating disorder: having regularly-scheduled family dinners.

“If you have dinner with your family, including your kids, five nights a week, you have amazing results. You seem to have less incidence of a lot of problems that parents worry about with their teens,” says Nancy McGarrah, Ph.D., psychologist.

In fact, the study found that teen girls who regularly had dinner with their family were 30 percent less likely to go on extreme diets or develop an eating disorder. Why? For one thing, experts say parents who sit and eat a healthy meal with their kids are good role models.

“Studies show time and time again that children model parents’ behavior with food,” says Rachel Brandeis, American Dietetic Association.

But experts also say that eating disorders are emotional disorders, and a family meal is a chance for kids to be with those who love them the most. That can help counteract what causes eating disorders in the first place.

“You’re having time with the family, you’re showing your commitment to your kids, you are tailoring your day around your kids, you’re having them tailor their day around that important time, and you’re having open communication,” says McGarrah.

Tips for Parents

Shared family meals are more likely to be nutritious, and kids who eat regularly with their families are less likely to snack on unhealthy foods and more likely to eat fruits, vegetables and whole grains. (Nemours Foundation)

Teens who take part in regular family meals are less likely to smoke, drink alcohol or use marijuana and other drugs, and are more likely to have healthier diets as adults. (Nemours Foundation)

Girls who have five or more meals a week with their families are one-third less likely to develop unhealthy eating habits, which can range from skipping meals to full-fledged anorexia or abusing diet pills. (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, SAMHSA)

The importance of regular family activities to share ideas and find out “what’s happening” is a great way for a parent to be involved, discuss rules, monitor activities and friends, and be a good role model. (SAMHSA)

The benefits of eating together will last long after your meal ends, especially if you make family mealtimes a regular activity. (SAMHSA)


Nemours Foundation
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

Friday, April 11, 2008

Sue Scheff: Preventing Teen Drug Abuse

Preventing Drug Abuse: What Can You Do?

If you suspect your teen is doing any form of gateway drug, it's important to talk to them about it as soon as possible. Again, it is important to not yell or threaten. You will no doubt be scared and angry, but so is your teen. If they feel as though you don't support them or they can't talk to you, scaring them will only make the problem worse! Try to remain calm.
Assure your teen they can trust you and that you love them and want to help them. Explain harmful side effects of drugs, but assure them it's not too late to get help, and that you will support them. Tell them about any changes you've noticed in their behavior and how those changes make you feel. Let them talk to you, and listen to them. Do not judge them or criticize them.

The first you need to do in order to prevent your teen from abusing drugs, alcohol or tobacco is to take seriously the threat posed by these substances to your child. You have to take seriously the risks posed because this will ultimately be the one catalyst that will allow you to talk to your teen about the problem in a frank and open manner. By taking to heart the importance of the matter at hand, you will be in a better position to urge your teen to do the same. You do not need to be harsh or judgmental with them. It is a better strategy to be as supportive as you can. If you insist on being hostile and angry with your teen, you will likely succeed in pushing them away form you and deeper into possible addiction.

Any treatment plan you decide upon for your teen should be dictated by the substances they abuse and how much they abuse them. For example, to send a child to a strict military-style school because they have tried drugs or alcohol a handful of times is something of an overreaction. Many times if a teen’s experiments with drugs, alcohol and tobacco are minor, a good open talk with them can convey all the information you want, and achieve very positive results in terms of future behavior.

Of course, the story is entirely different if your teen has become addicted to drugs and alcohol. In this instance, a detoxification program may be in order, along with a treatment regimen that helps wean the child off of drugs and replaces that with medicine. Studies have shown that the effectiveness of prescription medicine treatment for substance abuse is greatly enhanced when combined with one-on-one and/or family counseling.

One thing to remember if treatment becomes the order for the day when addressing your child’s substance issues is that relapse after treatment is common. This does not mean that you or your teen have failed any part of the recovery process. Addiction is extremely difficult to overcome and the most important thing to keep in mind is to take things one step at a time.

For more information about Teen Drug Abuse.

Wit's End! Book Information

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Parents Universal Resource Experts (Sue Scheff) Inhalant Abuse among teens and pre-teens

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

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

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

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

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Sue Scheff: Sex Education and Prevention

Sex Education and Prevention

Talking with your children about sex is difficult, and it can be an easy thing to put off. Educating your child is important! If you aren't, you are allowing their knowledge to come from outside sources like the media and their friends - what is scarier!

The biggest key to preventing teenage pregnancy is education. The more your child knows about sex and the realistic effects it has, the more likely they are to make good decisions. Assuming that if sex is not discussed in your home your child will abstain is dangerously false.

Be open about sexuality. After all, it is a natural part of being human. Be approachable! Let your children know that they can ask you any questions they have about sex, including intimacy in their relationships. Regular conversations that are in good humor for both parties will keep the lines of communication open.

While you work to educate your children about sex, it is also a good idea to establish rules as far as curfews and behavior go. The two work hand in hand.

Most importantly, work with your children to find activities and goals that will keep them busy! Teenagers who become pregnant often lack activity that leaves them feeling gratified - and they turn to sex. Discuss their goals and dreams. Encourage them to have activities outside the house in positive environments. Maintain the idea that education is the most important part of being a teenager!

By Sue Scheff, Parents Universal Resource Experts

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Sue Scheff: Helping Teens Avoid Bad Decisions - Risky Situations

by Connect with Kids

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.

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.