Sunday, December 28, 2008

Sue Scheff - The Secret Life of Kids - What your kids are doing shouldn't be a mystery

Offered by Connect with Kids

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.”

The Secret Life of Kids is a series of award-winning programs giving you an inside look at the pressures children face. Learning and talking with children about these issues is one of the best ways we can help keep them safe. These 30-minute programs are not only educational, they also offer a springboard for discussion — instead of talking “at” your child, you can discuss what you’ve just seen together. Along with this four-program set covering important, real-life issues, you’ll also receive the four accompanying resource guides FREE along with a FREE copy of the show you just watched, Against All Odds. Don’t let your child’s life remain a mystery — let us help you protect them. Order this unique program series now!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Sue Scheff: Learn More about Teen Obesity

Learn more about keeping your kids in good health. Especially with more and more kids sitting behind their computer screens we need to encourage more activities!

Here is a recent News Article

Seven ways to help your overweight teen

On paper, the statistics are shocking enough: the obesity rate for teens has tripled over the past 25 years and with this increase an average weight, type 2 diabetes, once unknown in young people, is now diagnosed in 45 percent of all new cases involving children or teens. Medical experts fear that high blood pressure and heart disease could become increasingly prevalent among young adults, making this generation of teens the first to have potentially poorer health and shorter life spans than their parents.

Seeing a young person you love struggle with overweight or obesity in the sensitive pre-teen or teen years is painful, frustrating and alarming — from watching them deal with cruel remarks to seeing them on the sidelines in sports or social events or knowing that they face significant health risks even in young adulthood. Maybe you’ve nagged or dropped hints or taken your child for medical help or sent him or her to weight loss camps — all to no avail.

Doctor Kathy McCoy, author of “The Teenage Body Book,” explains how you can help your teen lose weight and feel better!

• Put the emphasis on good health, not weight, and make it a goal for the whole family. Teens hate being singled out and criticized. Approaching this from a “YOU need to lose weight!” point of view will guarantee a battle of the wills. Instead, ask for your teen’s help in making an action plan to promote better family eating and exercise habits.

• Have real family meals at least once a day and encourage your teen to eat what the family eats. Frantic family schedules have equaled fast food or processed, prepared food dinners — and expanding waistlines. With real, home-cooked meals, you can better control calories, fats, sugars, sodium and other nutritional issues.

• Look at and discuss all of your less than ideal eating behaviors. Maybe your teen craves junk food when she’s bored and watching TV. Maybe you dive into high calorie comfort food when you’re angry or frustrated. Pay attention to the difference between physical and emotional hunger. Discuss all this with your family — and come up with ways to comfort or reward yourselves that have nothing to do with food.

• Make it convenient for everyone in the family to eat breakfast. Advance planning can help: fresh fruit and yogurt in the fridge, whole grain bread and cereals in the pantry, and encouraging all to get up and get going early enough in the morning to grab a bite. Those who don’t eat breakfast tend to overeat during the rest of the day, especially in the evening

• Get your family moving. Trying to motivate an overweight teen to go to the gym can be frustrating and non-productive. Schedule exercise into your family routine: a family walk or bike ride after dinner doesn’t have to cut into homework or leisure time too dramatically — and the exercise is good for everyone.

• Become smart, skeptical consumers: There are no weight loss miracles. Help your teen to avoid quick fixes. The weight didn’t come on overnight and it can’t be lost — for good — overnight either. The goal should be health improvement with a slow, steady weight loss of no more than two pounds a week. The loss can add up to more than 100 pounds in a year — and weight lost slowly as one changes one’s eating and exercise habits is more likely to stay off.

• Make a vow — together — to enjoy a full and healthy life now. You don’t have to wait until you or your teen is slim to do this. With good health as your top family priority, you can feel better starting today. Good nutrition, regular exercise and the feeling that “we’re all in this together” can make a positive difference for everyone in your family.

Award-winning writer and author of “The Teenage Body Book,” Dr. Kathy McCoy is a teen psychology and health expert who has appeared as a guest on such programs as The Today Show and The Oprah Winfrey Show. Winner of the American Library Associations’ Best Book for Young Adults Award, “The Teenage Body Book” contains everything teenagers and their parents need to know about nutrition, health, fitness, emotions and sexuality.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Parents Universal Resource Experts - Sue Scheff - Holiday Gift Ideas for Teens

With the holidays quickly approaching and the economy quickly dwindling, it's important more important than ever to purchase gifts wisely. This year, instead of wasting your money on another expensive kitchen gadget, why not give them a gift that invests in the future and improves the lives of children across the country?

PE4life is offering you the chance to purchase a Friend of PE4life subscription for a loved one. You can choose from four levels of giving - Rookie, All Star, Champ, or MVP - one for every price range. By joining this exclusive opportunity, the recipient will become an appreciated contributor to the organization that has trained teams from 38 states and five countries, impacting more than 2 million school children! Remember to visit the Pro Shop for other holiday gift ideas! Learn more.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Sue Scheff - Parenting Teens Wit's End

Are you at your wit’s end?

Are you experiencing any of the following situations or feeling at a complete loss or a failure as a parent? You are not alone and by being a proactive parent you are taking the first step towards healing and bringing your family back together.

Is your teen escalating out of control?
Is your teen becoming more and more defiant and disrespectful?
Is your teen manipulative? Running your household?
Are you hostage in your own home by your teen’s negative behavior?
Is your teen angry, violent or rage outbursts?
Is your teen verbally abusive?
Is your teen rebellious, destructive and withdrawn?
Is your teen aggressive towards others or animals?
Is your teen using drugs and/or alcohol?
Does your teen belong to a gang?
Do they frequently runaway or leave home for extended periods of time?
Has their appearance changed – piercing, tattoo’s, inappropriate clothing?
Has your teen stopped participating in sports, clubs, church and family functions? Have they become withdrawn from society?
Is your teen very intelligent yet not working up to their potential? Underachiever? Capable of doing the work yet not interested in education.
Does he/she steal?
Is your teen sexually active?
Teen pregnancy?
Is your teen a good kid but making bad choices?
Undesirable peers? Is your teen a follower or a leader?
Low self esteem and low self worth?
Lack of motivation? Low energy?
Mood Swings? Anxiety?
Teen depression that leads to negative behavior?
Eating Disorders? Weight loss? Weight gain?
Self-Harm or Self Mutilation?
High School drop-out?
Suspended or Expelled from school?
Suicidal thoughts or attempts?
Is your teen involved in legal problems? Have they been arrested?
Juvenile Delinquent?
Conduct Disorder?
Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD)?

Does your teen refuse to take accountability and always blame others for their mistakes?

Do you feel hopeless, helpless and powerless over what options you have as a parent? Are you at your wit’s end?

Does any of the above sound familiar? Many parents are at their wit’s end by the time they contact us, but the most important thing many need to know is you are not alone. There is help but the parent needs to be proactive and educate themselves in getting the right help.

Many try local therapy, which is always recommended, but in most cases, this is a very temporary band-aid to a more serious problem. One or two hours a week with a therapist is usually not enough to make the major changes that need to be done.

If you feel you are at your wit’s end and are considering outside resources, please contact us. An informed parent is an educated parent and will better prepare to you to make the best decision for your child. It is critical not to place your child out of his/her element. In many cases placing a teen that is just starting to make bad choices into a hard core environment may cause more problems. Be prepared – do your homework.

Many parents are in denial and keep hoping and praying the situation is going to change. Unfortunately in many cases, the problems usually escalate without immediate attention. Don’t be parents in denial; be proactive in getting your teen the appropriate help they may need. Whether it is local therapy or outside the home assistance, be in command of the situation before it spirals out of control and you are at a place of desperation. At wit’s end is not a pleasant place to be, but so many of us have been there.

Finding the best school or program for your child is one of the most important steps a parent does. Remember, your child is not for sale – don’t get drawn into high pressure sales people, learn from my mistakes. Read my story at for the mistakes I made that nearly destroyed my daughter.

In searching for schools and programs we look for the following:
· Helping Teens - not Harming them
· Building them up - not Breaking them down
· Positive and Nurturing Environments - not Punitive
· Family Involvement in Programs - not Isolation from the teen
· Protect Children - not Punish them

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Sue Scheff - Teen Sex, Social Networking and Parenting your Teens

The news today? Teens floating photo's of themselves in their birthday suits, well, more or less. It seems more and more teens are not thinking about the consequences of sending questionable photos through email, texting, social networks etc. Parents need to explain to their child that placing such pictures may potentially cause them "not" to be accepted at a college or not get a job. More and more college admissions offices and potential employee's are Surfing the Net to find out more information on applicants. What you post today, may haunt you tomorrow!

With all the discussions around the nude pictures - it brings up another concern - does this mean your teen is being recognized as a sex object? Does it say he or she is "easy"?

Many people will ask, "where are the parents?", however it is almost impossible to monitor your teen 24/7, especially Online. As parents and adults everywhere, we need to tell our kids how this can harm them in the future. Their BFF today - may be their enemy next summer! Then where will those photos end up?
Keep informed - stay up to date with information for parents and teens.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Sue Scheff Parenting At Risk Teens

It stems back to “children need to have their self-esteem built up to make good decisions.” Today most families are either single parent or both parents are working full time. This is not the fault of the teen, nor is it the fault of the parents. It is today’s world and we must try to find the middle. Troubled teens, rebellious teens, angry teens, problem teens, difficult teens, peer pressure, depressed teens; unfortunately are part of the society of adolescents today.Communication is always the first to go when people get busy. We have seen this over and over again. We have also experienced it and feel that our children shut us out; this can lead to difficult teens and teens with problems. Although we are tired and exhausted, along with the stress of today’s life, we need to stop and take a moment for our kids.

Talk and LISTEN to them. Ask lots of questions, get to know their friends and their friend’s parents, take part in their interests, be supportive if they are having a hard time, even if you can’t understand it; be there for them.This all sounds so easy and so simple, but take it from parents that have walked this path, it is not easy. When a parent works a full day, has stress from the job along with household chores, not to mention the bills, it is hard to find that moment. We are all guilty of neglect at one time or another after all, we are only human and can only do so much. We feel the exhaustion mounting watching our teens grow more out of control, yet we are too tired to address it.

Out of control teens can completely disrupt a family and cause marriages to break up as well as emotional breakdowns.We know many feel it is just a stage, and with some, it may be. However most times it does escalate to where we are today. Researching for help; Parents’ Universal Resource Experts is here for you, as we have been where you are today.

Do you have a difficult teen, struggling teen, defiant teen, out of control teen, rebellious teen, angry teen, depressed teen? Do you feel hopeless, at your wits end?


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Sue Scheff: Parenting Training

Source: Connect with Kids
Fighting, stealing, lying, cruelty- some psychologists call all of this a “conduct disorder” and according to the American Academy of Adolescent Psychiatry, one in 10 teen girls suffers from the disorder. What’s more, some experts say many of these girls share one thing in common: parents who resist being a parent.

“If we can help parents do a better job at parenting, then you’ll see less and less of children acting out because … acting out is really a symptom usually of what’s happening in the home.”
-- Alesia Brooks, area director for Community Solutions, Inc.

One approach to treating violent teens is gaining popularity across the country. It’s called multi-systemic therapy. The goal is to change the teen – by starting with the parent.

Last year, during a fight with her older sister, 16-year-old Angela pulled a knife. Angela says, “I wasn’t going to hurt her or nothing. I guess I was just threatening her with it.”

Angela was arrested and a judge recommended multi-systemic therapy. A therapist came to the house for five months. But instead of counseling Angela, he focused on her mom.

“Mom had no rules, so Angela didn’t know left from right, right from wrong,” says Alesia Brooks, an area director of home-based services for Community Solutions, Inc., a licensed provider of multi-systemic therapy. “She just did whatever she wanted to do. And if there was a conflict, then the conflict was managed through yelling and screaming.”

First, the counselor helped Angela’s mom Cecilia write a list of rules. Cecilia says, “Well, it was kind of, I had to get used to it myself, to enforcing the rules. And I noticed [having] the rules was much better.”

“If we can help parents do a better job at parenting,” says Brooks, “then you’ll see less and less of children acting out because the children acting out is really a symptom, usually of what’s happening in the home.”

“I was just kind of used to arguing,” adds Angela, “like kind of like how a child would throw a tantrum and get what they want. That’s kind of like how I was doing it when I was 13, 14, 15. And then when [the therapist] came in, he kind of made it that I couldn’t do it no more!”

The idea? Change the parent – and you will change the child.

Brooks says, “We don’t want to be the agent for change because we’re gone, we are not going to be there for the lifetime, the parent will be.”

Cecilia says the therapist helped her listen more, and yell less. “He taught me to communicate, calm down. We talk and try to solve the problem.”

Tips for Parents

When parents run into problems with a cranky toddler or a difficult teen, they now have a new place to turn for help – a parent coach. According to the Parent Coaching Institute, these individuals are trained with a broad background of education and experiences. Making themselves available by phone, they ask key questions, provide information and offer specific suggestions to help parents address challenges and develop new strategies for dealing with problems at home.

How do you know if parenting coaching is right for your family? Heritage Communications, which offers support and coaching services to families, cites the following types of parents who could benefit from hiring a parent coach:

Parents of older adopted children
Parents of challenging children
Parents dealing with adoption adjustment issues
Parents of children with RAD (reactive attachment disorder)
Parents looking for new parenting techniques to use with their children
Parents who don’t have a support system that truly understands the issues
Parents feeling overwhelmed
Parents taking their children to therapy but in need of parent support
Power struggles with teens are not uncommon. Whether or not you have a parent coach for support, as a parent, it is your responsibility to diffuse the situation in a calm manner. Jane Nelson, author of Positive Discipline, offers parents the following advice for reducing power struggles within the home:

After realizing you may be actually promoting the power struggles with your teen, you can decide to not fight and to not give in. Disengage from the fight and try to remain emotionally cool and calm. Without anger, the power struggle will diminish because your teen will have no one to fight against.
Give up the concept that you can make your teen do anything. Instead, inspire, teach, influence, lead, guide, motivate, stimulate and encourage your teen to positive, cooperative behavior. Catch him or her being good!
When disengaging, you need to act, not speak. For example, a temper tantrum becomes ineffective and silly if you withdraw to the other room – with slamming of doors.
Later, during a cooled-down period, you can talk about what you want from your teen. You can say, in a loving, accepting tone, “Son, after school, would you prefer to do your homework in the office or at the kitchen table?” If your teen feels personal power through choices, then he or she does not feel the need for power through conflict.

Community Solutions, Inc.
Heritage Communications
Multisystemic Therapy Services
Parent Coaching Institute
Positive Discipline