Thursday, July 31, 2008

Military Schools Are Opening Soon - Is Your Child a Candidate for this Excellent Academic Opportunity?

As a parent that had a son graduate a very prestigious Military School, I know the firsthand what an honor and privilege he was given. Many parents think of Military Schools as a punishment or where the “troubled” kids go - that is simply a myth. My son was accepted in accordance with his GPA as well as letters of references and interviewing with the school. It is almost as rigid as applying for some colleges. To further my opinion of Military Schools, when my son interviewed and applied to Universities, all the Admissions Directors were extremely impressed with his schooling at a Military School and was accepted to all the colleges he applied to.

Has your child mentioned military academies to you? Have they expressed an interest in attending such a school? If so, you as a parent have an obligation to listen, and more importantly to help them make the right decision.

A military school teaches various ages (middle school, high school, or both) in a manner that includes military traditions and training in military subjects. The military is a prominent force in America today, and with so much press it is very easy for a child to become exposed to this type of education as a viable option in their own lives. While this is perfectly acceptable on its own, like many of life’s choices it needs to be considered fully before a commitment is made. There are many factors that go into choosing the type of schooling that is appropriate for your child, and it is important that you and your child approach the subject together, as the both of you will have to reap the consequences of this decision in the future.

It is advisable to assess honestly the needs of your child, the requirements that will be placed upon them in a military school and what you as a parent bring to the mix. 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. 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, within a very rigid and disciplined framework. It is this framework that forms the backbone of the military school experience, and one of the chief distinctions between military educations and those of other schools. It is important to note that this structure will suit some students more than others, and this will largely determine a child’s chances of success in a military school setting. Military schools can give your child the vision to reach their goals and dreams for their future. The high level of academics combined with small class sizes create a strong educational background from which they grow into productive, happy adults.

If you have questions for me, please visit - and email me.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Sue Scheff on CBS4 Morning Show

This morning I was on the CBS4 Jim and Jade in the Morning talking about my new book, Wit's End! Bringing awareness to parents that are considering residential therapy for their out-of-control teen as well as the giant organization, World Wide Association of Specialty Programs (WWASPS)/Carolina Springs Academy - which I defeated in a jury trial as they attempted to silence me - however I fought back and you can learn from my mistakes and gain from my knowledge.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Parents Universal Resource Experts: Pot in the Summer by Connect with Kids

“During the summer, I went out more. And during the school year, I was focused on my homework and stuff, and the summer was mostly just a time for me to relax and just chill out and go party.”

– Angelique, 18

For most teens, the summer brings sun, swimming and maybe some extra time spent on the skateboard. But for others, the season marks the time when they first try pot.

“Beginning of summer, first day of summer, in fact,” says Sarah, who’s 19.

“It was during the summer because then we could stay out later and a lot of other kids were out of school, too,” 18-year-old Angelique adds.

In fact, studies show 40 percent of teens who smoke marijuana first tried the drug during the summer.

“They have a lot of free time. A lot of kids are bored during the summer. They’ve got nothing to do. So the fact that a lot of kids are starting to get into things they shouldn’t and experiment isn’t surprising at all,” says addiction counselor Dr. Robert Margolis, who serves as executive director of Solutions Counseling in Atlanta.

Experts say for that reason, parents should keep their children busy during the summer break.

“I think they ought to ask themselves do they have any plan going into the summer for their kids. What are their kids going to do? Are they going to get a job? Are they going to maybe go study someplace … are they going to have something that’s structured to do?” Dr. Margolis says.

He says that regardless of their own personal experiences when they were young, parents should explain the dangers of marijuana, especially at the beginning of the summer.

“What parents need to understand is that this is a very harmful, addictive drug that ruins people’s lives. And they better be prepared with facts to discuss this with their kids,” Dr. Margolis says.

Talks with her parents, and her doctor, finally convinced Angelique to stop smoking marijuana.

“Like they’re more dangerous than cigarettes and all that stuff. I didn’t know that,” she says.

Tips for Parents

The summer months often bring more freedom to teens. But many of them abuse this freedom, as evidenced by data released by the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse that shows 40% of teens first try marijuana during the summer. In fact, about 5,800 teens try marijuana for the first time each day in June and July.

According to the C-D-Cs annual Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance report more than 38% of teens report having use marijuana in their life. Nearly 20% admitted to smoking pot within the past 30 days. 8% of kids tried marijuana prior to turning 13 years of age.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the prevalence of drug use can, in part, be attributed to the overall perceptions and attitudes that drug use – particularly that of marijuana – is not harmful and is insignificant. Yet, those who choose to use this substance do risk developing serious health problems. The NIDA says that marijuana is responsible for the following physical effects in a user:

THC – the main chemical in marijuana – changes the way in which sensory information gets into and is acted on by particular systems in the brain. The system most affected is the limbic system, which is crucial for learning, memory and the integration of sensory experiences with emotions and motivations. Investigations have shown that THC suppresses neurons in the information-processing system of the brain.
A person who smokes marijuana regularly may have many of the same respiratory problems that tobacco smokers develop. The individual may have daily cough and phlegm, symptoms of chronic bronchitis and more frequent chest colds. Continuing to smoke marijuana can lead to abnormal functioning of lung tissue injured or destroyed by marijuana smoke.
Regardless of the THC content, the amount of tar inhaled by marijuana smokers and the level of carbon monoxide absorbed are three to five times greater than among tobacco smokers. This may be due to marijuana users inhaling more deeply and holding the smoke in the lungs.
In order for parents to help curb the growing problem of marijuana use among teens, they must first understand the dangers involved in using the drug. The National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign cautions parents to be aware of the following points about marijuana use:

Marijuana is the most widely used illicit drug among youth today.
More teens enter treatment for marijuana abuse each year than for all other illicit drugs combined.
Marijuana is addictive.
Marijuana use can lead to a host of significant health, social, learning and behavioral problems at a crucial time in a young person’s development.
Adolescent marijuana users show lower academic achievement compared to non-users.
Even short-term marijuana use has been linked to memory loss and difficulty with problem-solving.
Time and again, kids say that their parents are the single most important influence when it comes to using drugs.
As a parent, how can you determine if your teen is using marijuana? According to the NIDA, you should look for the following symptoms associated with marijuana use:

Appears dizzy and has trouble walking
Seems silly and giggly for no reason
Has very red or blood shot eyes
Has trouble remembering events that have just occurred
Although these symptoms will fade within a few hours of use, other significant behavioral changes – including withdrawl, depression, fatigue, carelessness with grooming, hostility and deteriorating relationships with family members and friends – may signal that your teen is in trouble. If your teen is using drugs, he or she may also experience changes in academic performance, have increased absenteeism, lose interest in sports or other favorite activities and develop different eating or sleeping habits.

Whether or not you suspect your child is using marijuana, it is crucial that you discuss the issue at an early age. The experts at DrugHelp suggest following these steps when discussing tough issues, like drug abuse, with your child:

Create a climate in which your child feels comfortable approaching you and expressing his or her feelings.
Don't shut off communication by responding judgmentally, saying, "You're wrong" or "That's bad."
Give your child an opportunity to talk.
Show your interest by asking appropriate questions.
Listen to what your child has to say before formulating a response.
Focus on what your child has to say, not on language or grammar.
Use probing questions to encourage a shy child to talk.
Identify areas of common experience and agreement.
Leave the door open for future conversations
National Institute on Drug Abuse
National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Monday, July 21, 2008

Sue Scheff: Don't Be Cyber Bullied!

By Love Our Children USA

Cyber Bullying is social terror by technology ... and it’s on the rise.When a kid of any age, up to 18 is threatened, humiliated, harassed, or humiliated via use of technology --- this is Cyber Bullying. It’s harmful and it’s dangerous!

This social online terror is used through e-mail, cell phones, pager text messages, instant messaging, Web sites, online personal polling Web sites. It is done by kids deliberately and repeatedly and is used by an individual or group with the intention of harming other kids and teens.

It’s cool to use technology to talk to your friends and make new ones. While most kids use the Internet responsibly, others are using all of this technology to terrorize and Cyberbully!Cyber Bullying is the perfect way for bullies to remain anonymous.Cyber Bullying makes it easier for bullies because they are not face to face with their victim(s.)

Read Entire Article here:

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Sue Scheff: Sexual Harassment by Connect with Kids

“Guys grab my butt… it happens all the time.”

– Louisa, 15 years old

Talk to girls in high schools across the country, and you‘ll hear similar stories about being inappropriately touched in the hallways.

“One of my friends, I mean every single day like guys would hit her butt,” says 14-year-old Jordan.

“Like guys grab my butt, and I just turn around and ‘stop’” adds 15-year-old Louisa.

Apparently there’s a lot of sexual touching and talking going on in school hallways. A new study from U-C Santa Cruz finds that 90 percent of girls report experiencing sexual harassment, including demeaning comments, unwanted attention and physical contact.

But many kids are having trouble with deciding when and how to say no.

“Sometimes you like it when it happens, but sometimes you get confused like should, is this wrong or is this right?” says 12-year-old Zahra.

Experts on the issue suggest the problem is that when it comes to sexual harassment, like other things in a child’s life, they still struggle to separate fantasy from reality.

“They have to differentiate when is it o-k to behave like that, like the movies show, and when is it not o-k. We didn’t have to make that distinction as kids. We knew it was inappropriate,” says counselor Denise Poe.

In and effort to clarify that kind of confusion, expert say both girls and boys should be taught to listen to their own intuition. If a conversation or physical advance feels wrong, it probably is. Kids should understand clearly, that when that happens, it’s not only o-k, but absolutely necessary to say “stop.”

“Let kids know that these behaviors are wrong, that they are harmful, and to let them know what to do if they are faced with that situation. Because maybe dad is telling them boys will be boys and they’re getting other messages from their friends from their family, and we want to tell them no, this will not be tolerated,” says Poe.

Tips for Parents

Sexual harassment in schools is defined as any unwanted, uninvited sexual attention. It may involve remarks, gestures, or actions of a sexual nature that make a person feel unsafe or uncomfortable and that creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive learning environment.

This means that a student is being sexually harassed when someone imposes unwanted and uninvited sexual attention on them. It can occur between people of the same gender, or people of different genders. Sexual harassment can include saying sexual things, making sexual jokes, making sexual gestures, and touching someone in a sexual way.

Here are some examples of student-to-student sexual harassment. To be considered sexual harassment, these behaviors must be unwelcome by the victim.

unwanted, unwelcome physical contact like touching, grabbing or patting;
demeaning nicknames like "chick," "sexy," "stud," or "babe;"
homophobic name calling like "fag", "dyke", "lezzie" or "queer"
cat calls, rating or embarrassing whistles;
insulting remarks about sexual orientation;
sexually insulting remarks about race, gender, ability or class;
bragging about sexual prowess for others to hear;
intimidating hallway behavior;
names written on walls or desks -"for a good time, call ;"
stalking (i.e., following someone)
It is not:

hug between friends;
mutual flirtation.
Although primarily considered an issue affecting adult women in the workplace, there is increasing evidence that student-to-student sexual harassment is growing more prevalent in scholastic environs. Studies have shown that up to 90 percent of the girls and 76 percent of the boys have experienced sexual harassment.

Surveys have also found:

although both girls and boys experience sexual harassment at alarming rates, sexual harassment takes a greater toll on girls
girls who have been harassed are more afraid in school and feel less confident about themselves than boys who have been harassed
sexual harassment in school begins early;
students are harassed by boys and girls;
girls of all races experience more sexual harassment than do boys

According to the U. S. Department of Education, “Sexual harassment can occur at any school activity and can take place in classrooms, halls, cafeterias, dormitories and other areas. Too often, the behavior is allowed to continue simply because students and employees are not informed about what sexual harassment is or how to stop it. Students, parents and school staff must be able to recognize sexual harassment, and understand what they can do to prevent it from occurring and how to stop it if it does occur.

Harassing behavior, if ignored or not reported, is likely to continue and become worse, rather than go away. The impact of sexual harassment on a student's educational progress and attainment of future goals can be significant and should not be underestimated. As a result of sexual harassment, a student may, for example, have trouble learning, drop a class or drop out of school altogether, lose trust in school officials, become isolated, fear for personal safety, or lose self-esteem.

For these reasons, a school should not accept, tolerate or overlook sexual harassment. A school should not excuse the harassment with an attitude of "that's just emerging adolescent sexuality" or "boys will be boys," or ignore it for fear of damaging a professor's reputation. This does nothing to stop the sexual harassment and can even send a message that such conduct is accepted or tolerated by the school. When a school makes it clear that sexual harassment will not be tolerated, trains its staff, and appropriately responds when harassment occurs, students will see the school as a safe place where everyone can learn.”

Sexual harassment involves situations in which the person doing the behavior has more power than the person experiencing the behavior. This means that it can be very difficult for students to solve these problems on their own. Tell your parents or a teacher about the problems you are experiencing.

Here are some things you can do:

It is the responsibility of your school to make the school safe for you. Only do the things recommended below if you are comfortable doing them. If you are not comfortable, then get help from a teacher or counselor.
Be assertive.
Write the harasser a letter.
Document Incidents.
Check with other students.
File a formal complaint.
University of California- Santa Cruz
LaMarsh Research Centre: Information And Advice on Student-to-Student Sexual Harassment -
U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights: Sexual Harassment: It’s Not Academic
Hostile Hallways: The AAUW Survey on Sexual Harassment in America's Schools -
Too Many Teens Suffer Sexual Harassment

Monday, July 14, 2008

What is Inhalant Abuse?

Inhaled chemicals are rapidly absorbed through the lungs into the bloodstream
and quickly distributed to the brain and other organs. Within minutes, the user
experiences intoxication, with symptoms similar to those produced by drinking
alcohol. With Inhalants, however, intoxication lasts only a few minutes, so some
users prolong the “high” by continuing to inhale repeatedly.

Short-term effects include:

headaches, muscle weakness, abdominal pain, severe
mood swings and violent behavior, belligerence, slurred speech, numbness and
tingling of the hands and feet, nausea, hearing loss, visual disturbances, limb
spasms, fatigue, lack of coordination, apathy, impaired judgment, dizziness,
lethargy, depressed reflexes, stupor, and loss of consciousness.
The Inhalant user will initially feel slightly stimulated and, after successive
inhalations, will feel less inhibited and less in control. Hallucinations may
occur and the user can lose consciousness. Worse, he or she, may even die.
Please see Sudden Sniffing Death Syndrome below.

Long-term Inhalant users generally suffer from:

weight loss, muscle weakness,
disorientation, inattentiveness, lack of coordination, irritability and depression.
Different Inhalants produce different harmful effects, and regular abuse of these
substances can result in serious harm to vital organs. Serious, but potentially
reversible, effects include liver and kidney damage. Harmful irreversible effects
include: hearing loss, limb spasms, bone marrow and central nervous system
(including brain) damage.

Sudden Sniffing Death Syndrome:

Children can die the first time, or any time, they try an Inhalant. This is
known as Sudden Sniffing Death Syndrome. While it can occur with many
types of Inhalants, it is particularly associated with the abuse of air conditioning
coolant, butane, propane, and the chemicals in some aerosol products. Sudden Sniffing Death Syndrome is usually associated with cardiac arrest. The Inhalant causes the heart to beat rapidly and erratically, resulting in cardiac arrest.


Friday, July 11, 2008

Parents Universal Resource Experts (Sue Scheff) Web Friends Over Real Friends

“All of these kinds of social worlds helps develop their ability to interact with people, and particularly, to do things like post a comment that might be a little controversial for example, and see what kind of reactions they get.”

– Larry Rosen, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology

Like many teens, Matt has tons of friends online. “My buddy list is full. It over 200 people in there. And it’s just all these people that have the same interests as me that I would have never met, if I just, you know, that don’t go to my school. They’re just around the country.”

According to a recent online survey, one in four kids say their internet friendships are equally or more important than friends met in person.

“Yeah, I mean, like. Cause of the internet, I’ve, you know, that’s where I found my social group, and I really kinda found out about myself,” agrees Matt.

But are these relationships healthy?

Experts say, on one hand, they give kids an opportunity to try out different personalities without consequence. “Kids are struggling to find out who they are. And who they are is in a lot of dimensions,” explains Professor of Psychology, Dr. Larry Rosen. “Who they are personally, what their skills are, but mostly it’s who they are in a social context, and that’s why these online social worlds like MySpace, all of these kinds of social worlds helps develop their ability to interact with people, and particularly, to do things like post a comment that might be a little controversial for example, and see what kind of reactions they get.”

But, on the other hand, Rosen says, like most things in life moderation is key.

“Because being in the virtual world, being in front of a screen all day is not sufficient for good teenage socialization. You need to have a combination of a screen life, and a real life,” he explains. “And so a good parent will make some sort of boundaries that say okay, you can have screen time, but after a certain amount of screen time you have to have some real outdoor time. Or some real communication time. And you can’t talk on the phone, it has to be face to face. You have to come talk to me, you have to go outside and hang out with some friends – you have to do something that’s in the real world.”

Tips for Parents

Most adults have an Internet-usage history that dates back no more than ten to fifteen years. But those growing up since the emergence of the Internet potentially could have their entire lives documented online. New parents can post online baby books for under $15 annually. Images once stored on a bookshelf at Grandma’s house can be available to the world without password protection. With Bunk1, the same can be said for memories of summer camp.

It is increasingly common for teens to have their own website. Many of these sites have a “blog”, where the owner can post running thoughts on a daily basis. Although some sites, like and, require users to be registered, membership is free and easy to obtain. If your child has a blog, encourage them to protect their blog so that can be read only by the friends and family they approve. Consider the following …

Only 10 percent of families posting their baby’s photos have the site protected with a password.
Many employers and colleges will enter a prospective applicant’s name in an Internet search engine to research their web presence.

Remind your child that not only friends and strangers, but also his or her parents, will be reading the blog.

Regularly monitor your child’s blog and immediately discuss any uncomfortable or inappropriate posts with your child.

It is very important to discuss various aspects of safety with your child, including the Internet and availability of information. Cite modern advances that have changed the world within the child’s lifetime and memory. Explain to your child that while your embarrassing photos and writings might be stored in a closet, an attic or even at Grandma’s home, the electronic versions your child might have will be much more accessible to anyone interested. Also, keep the following in mind:

If you do opt to post family photos online, be sure to place the images on a secure, password-protected site.

Search for names on an Internet search engine with your child to show him/her the possible places his/her information could be found.

Show your child how far e-mails, especially jokes and chain messages, can travel.

Monitor your child’s web usage and posts. An online diary usually does not have the same rights to privacy as a bound, handwritten journal because the online version is accessible to members of the public outside your home.

Know what posts, if any, you are able to delete from your child’s blog.

A Parent’s Guide to Internet Safety
Pew Internet and American Life Project
Kids Help Phone

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Parents Universal Resource Experts (Sue Scheff) 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.

The Basics: The Dangers of Teen Internet Addiction

It’s clear that, for teenagers, spending too much time online can really deter social and educational development. The Internet world is such that there is always something new to do and to distract one from one’s responsibilities. We all do it- take ten minutes here or there to explore our favorite gossip or sports site. There is nothing wrong with using the Internet as a tool for research, news, and even entertainment. After all, the World Wide Web is the world’s most accurate, up to date resource for almost any type of information.

But as the Internet evolves and becomes more tailored to the individual, it grows increasingly easier to develop a dependency on it. This is especially true for teens- a group that tends to be susceptible to flashy graphics and easily enticed by the popularity of social networks. In a sense, the Internet is the new video game or TV show. It used to be that adolescents would sit in front of the TV for hours on end operating a remote, shooting people and racing cars. Now they surf the web. Teens are impressionable and can at times be improperly equipped to handle certain situations with a degree of reason and rationality. And although they may have good intentions, they might be at risk of coming across something inappropriate and even dangerous.
Learn more about Wrapped in the Web.