Friday, August 29, 2008

Military Schools are Open!

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.
Posted by Sue Scheff at 2:12 PM 0 comments
Labels: Military Academies, Military Prep Schools, Military Schools, Parents Universal Resource Experts, structured school, Sue Scheff
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Military Schools - Boarding or Day? by Sue Scheff

One of the first questions that you and your child will have to face when contemplating military schools is the matter of a day school versus a boarding school. Many military schools are boarding schools, and others are simply magnet schools in a larger school system. This is an important distinction, and just one that you will have to assess with your child when looking at military schools.

A boarding school is a school where some or all pupils not only study, but also live during term time, with their fellow students and possibly teachers. The word 'boarding' in this sense means that the school provides food and lodging for pupils. Within the military school context it should be obvious why this is a common practice; the military likes to instill individual resourcefulness in its people, and the earlier the better. Military boarding school pupils may spend the majority of their childhood and adolescent life away from their parents, although pupils return home during the holidays and, often, the summer break. Detached from the outside world on a daily basis, military school students are more easily taught the virtues and values prominent in the military, and these are reinforced by the relative isolation that a military boarding school offers.

In addition, this distance from “civilian” life further reinforces the distinction between the military lifestyle and that of non-military citizens. On the occasions that boarding military school students venture off campus they are met with a world that they can comfortably move through, all the time noting the differences between their daily lives and of those around them. Many former boarding students from military schools report that the boarding experience was crucial in their understanding and adoption of the virtues being instilled within them. It should be noted that while boarding schools are, possibly correctly, perceived as instilling social and personal survival skills and keeping children occupied, they also exclude children from normal home-based, domestic daily life. Some children in boarding schools are liable to take on a sense of exclusiveness and superiority to others. It is not uncommon for children who have been to such schools to speak with different, learned accents than local children, play different sports, and miss out on local activities.

In contrast to boarding school, a day school is an institution where children are given educational instruction during the day and after which children return to their homes. It is a common model in the United States, adhered to by virtually all public schools, and a great many private ones (such as military schools) as well. Basically, classes are held from sometime in the morning to sometime in the afternoon, approximately along the lines of a normal adult work day. Very often there is a break for lunch, and different schools have different policies regarding whether or not students may or leave campus during the day. Military day schools still retain all the discipline and traditions as their boarding counterparts, the only distinction being whether the students remain on campus over night or not.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Educational Consultants ($$$) Do you need one?

Tips for Parents on Surfing the Internet for Teen Help Schools and Programs - Do you Need an Educational Consultant?

Internet Search – Many parents will use Search Engines to type in key words and search terms to describe their child. Unfortunately, in many cases, the parent will see the same group of programs/schools with different titles and descriptions, however leading back to the same organization. Parents that are not familiar with this industry can easily be misinformed. An example is a key word such as Military Schools. Are you aware that reputable Military Schools are not for at risk children? Please review

The term Spamdexing has been used when organizations will purchase many websites and URL’s all leading back to the same group. The vast number of key words and search terms, no matter what the issues, may all be filtered back to the same group. This can be very deceiving and detrimental when searching for the best placement for your child.

This can be a farce and totally an attack on desperate parents seeking help. Some of the websites are owned by “parents” that actually gain free tuition by you enrolling from their website. Even though “full disclosure” is required, it is sometimes missing. In reading a site recently parent’s claimed a program had saved their twins lives. However the story read that the children are still in the program. If the children are still in the program, how do you know if it saved a life yet? They don’t, but they do gain a free tuition from if you enroll from their website ID number. With twins in a program, this must be costly.

Sponsored listings are sold to the highest bidders. It seems only businesses with large marketing budgets can afford to be seen in top spots. This causes many very good and qualified programs and schools never to be seen. Many, including Computer Consultants, frown upon this tactic and Internet Professionals that feel it is causing unfair solicitation. Unfortunately this is part of marketing and public relations, which can leave out the small people.Are you looking at websites that offer a Clearing House of Schools and Programs? Or offer to sell you a book? Do you think you are getting a qualified school and/or program since it is listed in the book? Did you know most times it is paid advertising?

So whom do you trust? It is very scary in this industry of children needing intervention. That is one of our main goals; to recognize who is qualified and who is not. We are not a clearing-house for programs; we do not have a large number of schools and programs that we have researched yet. We try to give parents a peace of mind with the programs we have researched and personally visited. No matter how much trouble your child may be causing, they are human and deserve to be in a safe and qualified environment. These programs that urge you to act now are not taking the time to fully evaluate what is needed for your child. They seem to assume that every child will fit their program. Please parents, step back from this and think, research and investigate.Does the Advertising look too good to be true?

Most literature and brochures are made up to be glossy and fancy to advertise as an answer to your troubled child. Some even send tearful DVD’s of parents that claim to have been rescued from their child. When a program needs to use these extreme measures to market and advertise, it is time to investigate and analyze where all the money is being spent. Remember to read the small print and recognize that many of the pictures were not taken at the facilities. Marketing people can also be good sales people. Reaching out to your emotions at a delicate time of your life with your child. For more Helpful Hints in researching please read

Do you need to hire an Educational Consultant? What about an Independent Educational Consultant? Why are they so much money?

This seems to be a very political group of questions. First, not many can explain their outrageous costs to an already expensive trip. In our research, Educational Consultants do not require a degree and do not need any qualifications. There are not any state or government regulations that they need to comply with. With this, most EC’s are a product of someone that has worked in the field of schools or programs, and there are some that are qualified. The game is figuring out the difference if you need one. We don’t appreciate these games when it involves our children.The Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA) is a group formed to elaborate their proclaimed profession. They do have certain standards to meet within their own group, however they are not regulated or governed by any State or Governmental Offices. Some are very knowledgeable and quite impressive, however some are extremely self-centered. Most will refer to the same programs time after time.

This may not be the best case for your child and family. We have found that there are many politics that mandate their decisions into the same programs and schools time after time. With families that we have spoken with that used an EC, tell us their EC has recommended the same school or program as the previous family (most always starting with Wilderness). There seems to be a pattern here; We feel parents should realize just because they are paying a high priced EC, doesn’t mean they are getting the interest for their child in our opinion.

We are not saying that one should not hire an Educational Consultant if they deem it necessary; we are telling parents to do research, investigate and consider your child. In most cases, your therapist can be more beneficial to make a final decision in placement of a child. It can be helpful if the child’s local therapist can participate in helping parents make the most appropriate choice.
For the record, I am not anti-Educational Consultants, I have only witnessed time and time again that parents that used them seem to be lead down the same path, always starting with Wilderness Programs and then moving to a residential therapy program. It is my belief that these teens need consistency - starting and finishing at the same place.There are non-political Educational Consultants - it is a matter of taking the time to find them, as you have to take time and diligence to locate the best school or program for your individual teen and family.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Cutting versus Suicide by Sue Scheff

Parents may initially wonder if their teen is cutting to attempt suicide; after all, some suicide attempts look very similar. Parents who see scars on their teen’s arms before they are aware that their teen is cutting can easily be lead to this conclusion, but typically, teens who cut are not trying to kill themselves. Cuts from self injurers are typically much more superficial than cuts from an attempted suicide. There may be many smaller cuts on a cutter, whereas a suicide attempt would more likely yield fewer deep cuts and fewer scars. Cutters do not typically want to die, just to express their pain in some way other than verbally. Still, cutting has obvious dangers that should not be ignored.

First and foremost there is still the danger your teen can go too far with cutting. A vein or artery can be hit by accident causing major blood loss, which can kill your teen if they cannot stop the bleeding quick enough. Your teen may also develop a serious infection to the site of their cuts, which can in turn infect their bloodstream and weaken their immune system. They can also contract a blood borne illness if they share cutting implements with friends or do not properly clean implements after using them. Cutting among friends may seem like a stretch, but is becoming increasingly common, much like ‘epidemic’ drug use that is shared among friends and peers. Sharing cutting implements increase your teen’s risk of contracting diseases like hepatitis and HIV, which can be a death sentence in themselves. Failure to properly clean instruments used in cutting can lead to the development of tetanus in your teen, which while usually vaccinated for can still develop if vaccinations are not kept up to date, and can even be fatal if not treated in time.

Even if your teen successfully stops cutting, he or she may experience lingering physical affects of the disorder which may continue to complicate life long after the cutting has ended. The most superficial of these complications is scarring. While scars will most likely not cause any future health threats, your teen will have to live with the physical reminder of his or her cutting years every day of his or her life. These scars can complicate any number activities and social experiences, especially when people who are unaware of your teen’s previous cutting notice the scars. Your teen may be faced with uncomfortable questions, and may have trouble answering them. Scars left behind from cutting can often act as a reminder of the pain your teen endured to prompt them to cut in the first place, and while plastic surgery can often hide these scars; there are many cases when it cannot.

There can also be long-term effects of any illnesses that cutters may contract, from sharing implements or not properly cleaning implements used only by your teen.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Teens Sneaking into R-Rated Movies

Source: Connect with Kids

“I certainly think parents are misled many time by their youngsters.”

– Betsy Gard, Ph.D., Psychologist

Young teens say it is easy to get into R-rated movies.

“Yea, [I] just snuck in,” admits 14-year-old Nik.

“Me and my friends, we always sneak into R-rated movies,” says 14-year-old Rebecca.

Usually no one tries to stop them, but if they do, kids know the secret.

“I got a ticket to a different movie and then I went into the other one five minutes after the movie starts,” said 13-year-old Chantelle Williams.

“There was a huge group of people, and I just got in the middle and we all huddled through,” explains 13-year-old Travis.

Experts worry, saying movies are uniquely engaging. For two hours, kids are held captive in the reality of that movie. That means the R-rated sex and violence have more power than television or video games to change how they think or even act.

“You are really engaged in that movie. You are sort of there,” says Dr. Betsy Gard, psychologist. “Therefore it’s going to have more of an impact.”

“I don’t know because we might think that’s cool and stuff, I don’t know, and start doing that kind of stuff,” says Rebecca.

Gard recommends if you find out your child has seen a movie against your wishes, first see the movie yourself so you can talk to your youngster about why you did not like the movie and why it is not good for them.

“You basically say ‘for a while now you’re not going to be able to go to the movies independently or to the mall’,” says Gard. “I’m going to have to supervise you more carefully so that I can build the trust back in you.”

Tips for Parents

Teens sneak into movies using a variety of different methods. Some create or buy fake IDs, others try to bribe the ticket box office worker (usually a school friend) while others purchase tickets for a G-rated movie, enter the theater and then sneak into the R-rated film of their choice. Often, these schemes work. If they do not, there are no repercussions because there are no laws that punish either teens or theaters. In fact, theaters are under no legal obligation at all to enforce the rating system.

Teens do not have to work very hard to see R-rated movies. Parents or older friends often purchase the tickets for them. So what is the point of this rating system and why was it created in the first place?

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences created the ratings system in 1968 as a guide for parents and moviegoers. The system is sponsored by the Motion Picture Association of America and the National Association of Theater Owners to provide parents with advanced information on the films. This allows parents to make informed decisions on whether their child is capable of handling the film.

The movie ratings are decided by parents, part of a committee called the film rating board of the Classification and Rating Administration (CARA). As a group, they view each film and after a group discussion vote on its rating, making an educated estimate as to the rating most American parents would consider the most appropriate. In making their decision, the film board looks at certain criteria such as:

Movie theme
Drug use
Understanding what the ratings mean can help you determine whether you child should view a specific movie. CARA provides the following explanations for each rating:

G-Rating. General Audience. All ages admitted. This signifies the film rated contains nothing most parents will consider offensive for even their youngest children to see or hear. Nudity, sex scenes and scenes of drug use are absent; violence is minimal; snippets of dialogue may go beyond polite conversation but do not go beyond common everyday expressions.
PG-Rating. Parental Guidance Suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children. This signifies the film rated may contain some material parents might not like to expose to their young children, material that will clearly need to be examined or inquired about before children are allowed to attend the film. Explicit sex scenes and scenes of drug use are absent; nudity, if present, is seen only briefly. Horror and violence do not exceed moderate levels.
PG-13 Rating. Parents Strongly Cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. This signifies the film rated may be inappropriate for pre-teens. Parents should be especially careful about letting their younger children attend. Rough or persistent violence is absent; sexually-oriented nudity is generally absent; some scenes of drug use may be seen; one use of the harsher sexually derived words may be heard.
R-Rating. Restricted-Under 17. Requires accompanying parent or adult guardian (age varies in some locations). This signifies the rating board has concluded the film rated contains some adult material. Parents are urged to learn more about the film before taking their children to see it. An R may be assigned due to, among other things, a film's use of language, theme, violence, sex or its portrayal of drug use.
NC–17 Rating. No One 17 and Under Admitted. This signifies the rating board believes most American parents would feel the film is patently adult and that children age 17 and under should not be admitted to it. The film may contain explicit sex scenes, an accumulation of sexually-oriented language, or scenes of excessive violence. The NC-17 designation does not, however, signify the rated film is obscene or pornographic.
Before allowing your teen to head off to the movies for a night out, it is important you find out as much information as you can about the movie first. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests:

Read reviews. Look in the newspaper for a review on the movie
Check the Internet. You can often find sites dedicated to the movie. This will provide you with a little more information on the movie content.
Talk to friends who have seen it. Often the best way to determine if the movie is appropriate is to ask someone who has seen it.
Choose carefully when considering movies with PG-13, PG, or even G ratings. Remember a PG movie that contains some violence or nudity will have a much different effect on a five-year-old child than it would a 12-year-old.
If you are still not sure. See the movie yourself first. You are the best judge as to whether this is appropriate for your child.
American Academy of Pediatrics
Classification and Ratings Administration
Dartmouth School of Medicine
Motion Picture Association of America

Monday, August 18, 2008

Teens Say School Pressure Is Main Reason For Drug Use

New York — A new study reveals a troubling new insight into the reasons why teens use drugs.The study conducted by the Partnership for a Drug-free America shows that of 6,511 teens, 73% report that school stress and pressure is the main reason for drug use.

Ironically, only 7% of parents believe that teens use drugs to cope with stress.

Second on the list was to “feel cool” (73%), which was previously ranked in the first position. Another popular reason teens said they use drugs was to “feel better about themselves”(65%).Over the past decade, studies have indicated a steady changing trend in what teens perceive as the motivations for using drugs. The “to have fun” rationales are declining, while motivations to use drugs to solve problems are increasing.

On the positive side, the study confirms that overall abuse remains in a steady decline among teens. Marijuana, ecstasy, inhalants, methamphetamine alcohol and cigarette usage continue to decrease.

Additional findings show:

- 1 in 5 teens has abused a prescription medication- Nearly 1 in 5 teens has already abused a prescription painkiller- 41% of teens think it’s safer to abuse a precription drug than it is to use illegal drugs.

Teens continue to take their lives into their own hands when they intentionally abuse prescribed medications, said Pasierb. “Whether it’s to get high or deal with stress, or if they mistakenly believe it will help them perform better in school or sports, teens don’t realize that when used without a prescription, these medicines can be every bit as harmful as illegal street drugs.”

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Love Our Children USA - Keeping Children Safe and Strengthening Families

Love Our Children USA™ is the national nonprofit leader in breaking the cycle of violence against children. The organization has become 'the Go-To' prevention organization for all forms of violence and neglect against children in the U.S.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Self Injury and Cutting by Sue Scheff

Self Injury and Cutting

Self abuse (or self mutilation) can come in many forms; most commonly it is associated with cutting, hair pulling or bone breaking, but it can also manifest itself as eating disorders like bulimia, and/or anorexia. This site will focus mainly on cutting, which is the most common form of self abuse, with 72% of all self injurers choosing to do so by cutting themselves, and hair pulling. Cutting is exactly as it sounds; when your teen cuts him or herself as a physical expression to feel emotional pain. There are many reasons why teens injure themselves, but many people assume it’s just ‘for attention’. Often this can be an element of why your teen may be abusing him or her self, but just as often it can be something your teen does privately to express the emotional pain they feel inside. And while self injury is a taboo subject, it is estimated that 3 to 6 million Americans self injure themselves in some way, and that number is on the increase- in fact, its already doubled in the past three years.

Why Teens Self Injure

According to experts, one of the most common reasons teens self injure is because the injury is in some way a “release” from emotional anxiety. The pain of the injury provides a distraction from the emotional pain the teen is feeling, and acts almost as a drug to them. It can also help the injured feel ‘human’ again, by putting them in touch with a common human experience: pain.
Another reason teens may self injure is for the attention they get from the physical manifestation of their injuries. For example, some teens may cut because they get attention from the blood and scars obtained from cutting. Teens that cut for attention may feel neglected in some way, and usually do not care if they receive negative or positive attention from cutting.
Statistics have shown time and time again that the “average” cutter (and in fact, self injurer) is most commonly female.

According to [Dr. Charles Goodstein of the New York University School of Medicine, cutting regularly occurs in one in every 200 adolescent girls between the ages of 13 and 19. Typically, young women begin cutting in their teens following some sort of physical and/or sexual abuse (most commonly sexual abuse). Statistically, the average female cutter was raised with at least one alcoholic parent in the home. Cutters are also typically of middle to upper middle class backgrounds and usually well educated, though this is not always the case. Experts suggest women may be more prone to cutting or self injury because (as opposed to young men) they are not taught to repress their emotions, so keeping any traumatic ‘secret’ becomes extremely difficult for them. Cutting is then used as an outlet for that anxiety; the bleeding is metaphorically releasing the painful secrets the cutter has been holding on to, without requiring the cutter to tell anyone anything.

Unfortunately, studies have also shown that women who self injure are less likely than men to be taken seriously when and if they do seek help for their disorder. Despite its tendency to appear in young women, it is important to remember that cutting affects both men and women, and can appear in any age group, socio-economic group or education level.

Monday, August 11, 2008

ADHD College Survival Guide

Visit ADDitude's ADHD College Survival Guide

John Muscarello had no trouble making the transition to college life, despite his severe attention deficit disorder (ADD ADHD).

That's because the 20-year-old cultivated good habits while attending high school in Glen Head, New York. "I had an assignment pad where I wrote everything down," he explains. "I also had a big calendar on my bedroom wall. I wrote down upcoming papers and dates, so I always knew what I had going on. I would get home from sports, take a shower, eat dinner, take a pill, and then do all my work."

In high school, John handed in papers before they were due. "Teachers would help me revise them," he says, "and I'd hand them in again, when everyone else did." And he cultivated close relationships with faculty members - a strategy he continues at Pennsylvania's York College by e-mailing his professors at the beginning of each semester to introduce himself and explain his academic "issues." He got this idea from his mother, Mary, who always made it a point to meet with her son's teachers to give them a heads-up.

Of course, laughs Mary, "The fact that we owned a pastry shop and brought stuff to school didn't hurt either."

Things were different for David Burkhart, a 28-year-old graduate student. He had done well at the prep school he attended, where students woke up, ate, studied, and went to bed at prescribed times. Given the order imposed on him, no one even suspected that David had ADD, as well as dysgraphia.

But David's life unraveled as he began his freshman year at Auburn University.

"I got to college and moved into my own apartment. For the first time in my life, I didn't have a bedtime," he says. "I had no clue how to eat or plan my day. I went from having one hour of free time a day to having three hours of class a day - and nobody cared if I didn't show up for those. I 'washed my clothes' by buying new stuff. I bought a new pair of slacks every week."

Within weeks, David had dropped all his classes. He tried to hide the truth from his parents, but his father, the chairman of Auburn's psychology department, and his mother soon found out. David's dad sent him to live with an uncle in Florida, where he spent four grueling months pouring asphalt and considering what he would do differently if he returned to college.

Friday, August 8, 2008

The Dirt E-Secrets of an Internet Kid

“Get Out Of My Facebook!”

A Translation For Parents: Instant Kids Growing Up in an Online World An Ebook by Vanessa Van PettenYou’re About to Learn Internet SecretsThat Most Adults Will Never Know

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Teens Today - by Vanessa Van Petten -Exposing the Net Generation

Vanessa Van Petten the young author of You’re Grounded and offers an informational and incredible website about teens today! Visit and you will be amazed at the subjects and questions and answers you can find by exploring her website.

From Vanessa:

Welcome Brave Parents!

HOORAY! Finally, parenting advice from the kid’s perspective! It’s usually impossible to get more than one-word-answers from us, but with my book “You’re Grounded!” and my blog, I hope I can be honest about real issues that teens and pre-teens are dealing with, so you, the parents, can actually understand us (well at least a small part of our world)…and we can finally develop better relationships.

Have you ever wondered what really goes on in the mind of a teenager?As a teenager, have you ever wondered why parents really make your curfew so early?As a parent, have you hoped for a better understanding of the teenage years?

I wrote this book when I was 17, I interviewed over 700 teenagers to bring you our real advice. I know that teens often feel lost and angry, and parents usually wish they can read our minds, because at around age 15, we start pulling away.

Please read my testimonials and description below of how my book can change. your. family. If you feel like you need to get to know me better first, no problem! I offer tons of free advice with daily posts, interviews and stories right here on the main page of my blog so you can get to know me. You can also sign up by email in the box on the right, bookmark my page or RSS!

You can also check out my new ebook: The Dirt E-Secrets of an Internet Kid!

I learned the hard way that parent-child relationships are precious. I want to help you and your family bridge the gap. Please email me with any questions!

We can do it together,