Sunday, May 31, 2009

Sue Scheff: Stop Medicine Abuse

I was asked by caring parents and individuals to give people encouraging news. StopMedicineAbuse is making a difference in creating awareness in parents and helping open up the lines of communication with their teens and tweens today.

Although almost two-thirds parents have talked to their teens about cough medicine abuse, a large number still have not had this critical conversation. To help alert these parents, many OTC cough medicines will now feature the Stop Medicine Abuse educational icon on the packaging. The icon, which also can be viewed online (see above), is a key reminder for parents that teen medicine abuse is an issue that they need to be aware of.

Look for them on Facebook and join their Fan Club Group to stay updated.

How can you help?

Our efforts to educate parents about medicine abuse have reached thousands of families in the United States. With your help, more parents than ever are learning about this risky teen substance abuse behavior and are talking with their teens. According to the Partnership Attitude Tracking Study, released by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, 65 percent of parents have talked to their teens about the dangers of abusing OTC cold and cough medicine to get high-an 18 percent increase in the number of parents who talked to their teens in 2007.
My fellow Five Moms and I are excited to share this promising news with you, but there is still much work ahead. Although nearly two-thirds of parents have talked with their teens, 35 percent of parents said that they have not had this important conversation.

We know that when parents talk to their teens about the risks of substance abuse, their teens are up to fifty percent less likely to abuse substances. If you have not already talked with your teens about the dangers of cough medicine abuse, visit our talk page for some helpful ideas on how to have this discussion.

It is also critical that we share this information with our friends and communities as well. Too many parents are still unaware that some teens are abusing OTC cough medicine to get high, and it is important that we talk with them about this behavior. By talking with other parents, we can make sure that every family has the knowledge and tools to help keep teens safe and healthy.

Sharing information about cough medicine abuse is easy. It only takes a moment to start a conversation, and thanks to Stop Medicine Abuse, you can Tell-A-Friend through e-mail or post the Stop Medicine Abuse widget to your blog or web site. The more parents are aware of cough medicine abuse, the better we can prevent this behavior from happening in our communities.
Have you talked with other parents about cough medicine abuse?

Share your advice about having this conversation at the Stop Medicine Abuse Fan page

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Sue Scheff: Social Networking and Your Younger Child

Is your child, under the age of 13 and wanting to be part of Facebook or MySpace?

Check out a Social Networking site for younger kids to chat safely and parents to be involved.

Visit KiddzChat and explore the many features that your kids could enjoy and you could feel at ease.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Sue Scheff: ADD/ADHD Program - Drop Your Reins

Drop Your Reins – Learn to TrustPeaceful Solutions for ADHD/ADD & Autistic Children Using Natural Horsemanship

Founded and run by Danielle Herb, Drop Your Reins is a holistic training school based in Live Oak, FL. From direct interaction with horses to supplemental training videos the program uses Natural Horsemanship For Kids helps guide the powerful minds of ADD/ADHD and Autistic children to reach their greatest potential while maintaining their innocence and purity.

Horses are amazing because they are sentient animals that mirror our personalities as well as our fears. –Danielle Herb

The old model of parenting and training horses, still being used by many today, is to break their spirit into submission to get them to do what you want. They are repeatedly worn down until the end result is unhappy, unhealthy kids and horses.

Are you curious about how horses can help humans learn to communicate more effectively, build inner self-esteem and outer confidence? By partnering with horses, we create an experiential learning environment that invites open communication, personal reflection, and increased self-awareness. Find out more about this “horse stuff” by joining us for a short, complimentary, introductory demonstration of this truly amazing learning process!

We begin each demo with introductions, to each other, to horse assisted learning and to horse behavior. Next, we partner with our four-legged friends to give you an opportunity to experience, first-hand, an on-the-ground (non riding) Drop Your Reins experience. Following the exercise with the horses, we take time “debrief” or talk – seeking to help identify assumptions and belief systems, increasing understanding and awareness. There’s also time to answer questions about how we can collaborate to help you reach your families development or personal growth goals.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Sue Scheff: Parenting Teenagers

Parenting Teenagers - The Agony and the Ecstasy

Parents, Professionals and Parent leaders will find this report FULL of actionable and helpful information. Download it for free….and let us hear your comments and suggestions! Click here for free download!

Don’t forget to join their Mailing List and Receive “20 Top Tips for Parenting Teens” and our bi-weekly newsletter with “Tips and Tools for Successfully Parenting Your Teenagers.”

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Sue Scheff: Internet Safety and Kids

Author: Andy Greenberg

How To Keep Kids Safe Online

Every parent worries about the power of the Internet to expose kids to online predators. Less often discussed: tech’s power to expose kids to their own bad judgment.

Earlier this month, the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy and released a survey showing that two in five teens has sent sexually suggestive messages online. One in five has electronically sent or posted nude or semi-nude pictures or videos of themselves. And more than a third of teens in the survey say that those pictures tend to be shared beyond the intended recipient.
Teen exploitation online has long been a hot-button topic for tech-focused politics. Last year, popular teen social networks like MySpace and Facebook were the targets of investigations by several state attorneys generals seeking to purge sexual predators from the sites. MySpace responded by deleting the accounts of 29,000 users whose personal details match them with records of sex offenders, and Facebook is still undergoing a two-year investigation that will track incidents of pornography and sexual advances on the site.

But Larry Magid, a board member of the Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the founder of and, argues that the focus on sexual predators on social networking sites is largely political grandstanding. Much less sensational, and far more common, he contends, are cases where kids simply post too much sensitive or compromising information about themselves online, leading to incidents of cyberbullying and embarrassment.
Social networking sites make an easy scapegoat, he says. But even e-mail can be a source of trouble if kids aren’t careful. “Say a girl sends her boyfriend compromising photos. Two weeks later, he’s no longer her boyfriend, and two weeks after that, he’s angry at her and posts the photo online,” Magid says. “That’s not physically harmful, but it can be psychologically devastating to a young girl.

The answer, then, isn’t to engage in witch hunts on MySpace and Facebook, says Magid, but to better educate kids about online privacy. On that front, says Adam Thierer of the Progress and Freedom Foundation, parents and schools aren’t keeping up with the pace of technological culture. “We’re doing a horrendous job in this country of educating our kid about how to behave online,” he argues. “We give them so many messages about drinking, sex, even fatty foods. But when it comes to online safety, we throw them into the deep end of the pool.”

Of course, the threat of sexual predators is real enough. Last year, 19-year-old Alicia Kozakiewicz testified to Congress’ judiciary committee about her experience as a victim of kidnapping and sexual abuse after being deceived online. Six years earlier, she had arranged a meeting with a friend she’d met online, who described “herself” as a 12-year-old redhead. Instead, she found Scott Tyree, a middle-aged man who kidnapped her, imprisoned her and abused her physically and sexually for days before she was rescued by FBI agents.

“I discovered that the boogeyman is real, and that he lives on the Web,” she told Congress at a judiciary committee hearing called to consider toughening online sexual predator laws.
But as nightmarish as Kozakiewicz story may be, it would be a mistake to focus only on these rare tragedies, says Magid. “I’m definitely not saying this didn’t happen, and that it’s not tragic. But we shouldn’t take this case and make this seem like a common occurrence,” Magid says. “This kind of thing is probably as rare as being molested by a member of Congress.”
Instead of living in fear of Internet boogeymen, Magid and Thierer offer a few simple tips for filling the education gap surrounding online privacy. Most importantly, they say, talk to your kids about what should and shouldn’t be publicly posted on the Internet. Be sure they understand that personal details like addresses and phone numbers, as well as private photos, should stay offline.

Also, consider placing any computers in the house in a “public” place, like the family room or living room, rather than a child’s bedroom. This tactic doesn’t just let parents keep Web browsing safe and open, it also helps parents limit the time kids spend online and encourages offline activities like sports or socializing.

One tool Magid advises parents to use with caution, however, is Web filtering software like Net Nanny or Cybersitter, which block objectionable content online. For teens, he says, such software inspires resentment and only leads to kids looking for other sources of Internet access, like a friend’s computer. As cellphones become smarter, they may also offer kids a surreptitious avenue to the Web.

For younger kids, an easier way to keep Web surfing safe may be an emerging group of social networking sites aimed at preteens. Disney’s (nyse: DIS - news - people )Club Penguin is a social network and virtual world for kids ages 6 to 14. On settings aimed at its youngest demographic, the game only allows players to communicate using pre-set phrases, making obscenities or other inappropriate content impossible. Even on its settings for older users, the site employs teams of moderators to identify and ban any user spouting less-than-innocent language.

Another site that mimics MySpace for young teens and ‘tweens is Imbee’s late creator, Jeanette Symons, who passed away in February, told last year that the site is designed to bring real-world friendships onto the Web, not vice versa. Only a child’s direct friends can view his or her profile, and parents are alerted whenever a new friend is added.
"Younger kids are seeing what older kids are doing with MySpace and Facebook, and of course, they want to mimic it. The problem is that they don’t have the concepts yet to be able to realistically protect themselves,” she told “Imbee gives them social networking without the risks.”

Symons created the site about two years ago, after her 6-year-old daughter demanded she be allowed to join MySpace. Symons wisely refused that request, and instead built her own social network, hosted on a server in her closet. Soon, neighborhood kids had joined, and today, the site has more than 50,000 registered accounts.

Echoing Larry Magid, Symons believed that the rare threat of sexual predators had, in some ways, obscured the more common problem of kids’ indiscreetly publishing personal information on the Web.

“I don’t realistically think that predators are much worse online than they are in real life,” Symons says. “The thing I worry about is that whatever kids publish today can stick with them for the rest of their lives. Once you publish on the Internet, it’s there for all to see.”

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Sue Scheff: Girl Scouts of the USA and Microsoft Windows Launch Online Safety Campaign

Source: Press Release Today by Girl Scouts of the USA

NEW YORK, NY — 05/20/09 — Are you looking for new and innovative ideas that can help you get up to speed with online issues teens face every day? Maybe your teenager is looking for ways to get more involved with issues that pressure them online daily. If you answered “yes” you are certainly not alone. Girl Scouts of the USA and Microsoft Windows joined forces to create LMK (text speak for “let me know”) — an online safety resource where girls are the technology experts on subjects that are often best discussed at a teen-to-teen level, like cyberbullying, predators and social networking. This girl-led campaign allows girls to share their online concerns with peer “tech-perts” about the issues that affect them while raising awareness about how to keep girls (ages 13-17) safe while surfing the Web. In addition, parents have access to a site specifically geared to their needs, equipping them with the tools necessary to understand and act on the rapidly changing world of online safety.

For most teen girls today, being online is part of a daily routine. Shannon, a member of the LMK editorial team, notes: “Now we have a chance to teach our parents a thing or two about the real issues we face every day.”

The campaign includes an interactive Web site for girls, as well as an e-newsletter and Web site for adults. Each month, the all-girl editorial board explores a different internet safety topic online and then shares what they learned in the e-newsletter which is distributed to adults the following month. The e-newsletter and parent site are designed to provide timely guidance and also serve as a tool to help families have open and honest conversations about the dangers that lurk in cyberspace. In addition, the girls’ Web site features forums, articles, quizzes, polls and a Question & Answer column from internet safety expert Parry Aftab. The program is open to everyone, Girl Scouts and non-Girl Scouts alike, as well as any adult who wants to learn about internet safety.

While the full scope of online threats, such as cyberbullying, are difficult to measure, we do know that nearly one in six U.S. children grades six to 10 is a victim of online bullying each year, according to the National Council of Juvenile Court Judges. Bullying is not “just a phase,” nor is it behavior in which “kids will be kids.” The repercussions of cyberbullying can be so grave that 14 U.S. states have passed or are proposing laws to make it a crime.
With detailed advice and information about online safety issues written by teen girls, this partnership between the Girl Scouts of the USA and Microsoft Windows provides resources for both teens and parents.

For more information, please visit the Web site for girls at:

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Sue Scheff: Parenting Teens Info

Another informational website for parents raising teens. Parenting Teens offers resources such as podcasts, books, articles, Blogs and other valuable insights on raising teens in today’s society.

Sue Blaney empowers, educates and connects parents of teenagers. She is the author of Please Stop the Rollercoaster! How Parents of Teenagers Can Smooth Out the Ride, the acclaimed guide for parents and parent discussion groups that has helped thousands of parents around the country improve relationships with their teens.

Her popular blog and websites and feature valuable content including free parenting articles, podcasts, tips and newsletters.

She is a frequent speaker and advises parents of teenagers, secondary school educators and faith-based educators in ways to increase parent engagement, improve communication and create parent discussion groups. With a background as a Certified Professional Behavior Analyst, Sue is a communications expert and has spent 30 years in training, marketing, publishing and sales. She is the founder of ChangeWorks Publishing & Consulting Co.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Sue Scheff: Teens and Physical Education

So many parents today are concerned that our kids are wired in rather than physical activities. Gone are the days when all the neighborhood kids would play kick ball, or just simply play outside! Now their sidekicks, cell phones, Ipods, computers, etc.. consume their lives. As a parent - let’s get our kids moving and exercising. Not only does it promote their physical health, it is time to get back to social skills - face to face, not screen to screen.

PE4Life offers a vast amount of information to help educate you in this area. Take some time to read their ideas, articles, communities activities and more.


Parents are busy with a full workday, helping their children with homework, engaging their children in after school activities, and so on. This doesn’t leave a whole lot of time for physical activity in your own lives. Do you realize that schools have devalued and cut physical education to the point that the majority of children get one day of PE per week? Children today have a shorter life expectancy than their parents for the first time in one hundred years because of the epidemic of obesity, according to Dr. William Klish, Professor of Pediatrics and Head of Pediatric Gastroenterology at Baylor College of Medicine. Lack of PE at school is a disservice to your child’s health. Speak up. Demand that your school offers daily quality physical education. Use PE4life as a resource partner to enhance your school’s PE program. A recent study revealed that 81% of teachers and 85% of parents favor requiring students to take physical education every day at every grade level. As parents, you can rally people in your community to get involved by ordering a PE4life Community Action kit video and show it to the PTA, the school board and other community groups. The next step is to invite PE4life to make a presentation to your school leaders, bring a team of people to train at a PE4life Academy, or invite PE4life to do an in-service for your school staff. As your resource partner, PE4life can provide these and many other services to your school as you work to get children more active and healthy.

The PE4life Approach to Physical Education:

Be offered to every child every day

Be available for all students, not just the athletically inclined
Provide a wide variety of sports and fitness activities to promote an active and healthy lifestyle
Assess students on their personal progress toward fitness and physical activity goals
Incorporate technology on a regular basis

Extend beyond the walls of the gymnasium to form community and business partnerships

Today’s “New P.E.,” as exemplified by PE4life, is a health-and-wellness-based approach to physical education that caters to all students, not just the athletically inclined. Students are encouraged to pursue a variety of sports and physical activities (team and individual) – for a lifetime.

Get Involved—Become a Friend of PE4life, get your community involved, sign up up for the PE4life newsletter and communicate to government leaders.

News & Info—Get the latest information on physical education, childhood obesity, exercise and the brain, youth fitness and legislative news. Also link to other great websites.

Results—Review research findings and measurable outcomes of PE programs.

Grant Info—Find creative sources of funding for the physical education program at your child’s school and a forum where you can ask questions or share your thoughts and successes.

PE4life Program Services—Find information about our Program Service Packages, how to order our services, training dates, academy locations, and testimonials.

Events–Find dates for Academy Training, National PE4life Day, PE4life Workshops, and PE Conferences.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Sue Scheff: Families Fighting Flu

As a parent, you want to do everything in your power to protect your children. With the recent H1N1 flu outbreak (initially called “swine flu”), FFF is sharing some important steps that you can take right now to help protect you and your loved ones.

1. Covering your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze. You can even teach your children to cough into their elbows.

2. Stressing the importance of washing hands often with soap and water. Any alcohol-based hand cleansers are effective as well.

3. Disinfecting frequently touched surfaces with an appropriate bleach-based solution. As you know, germs can spread by touching infected surfaces and then your eyes, nose or mouth.

For more information, please visit and please listen to this Public Service Announcement:

Monday, May 11, 2009

Sue Scheff: Hazing, Bullying, Teasing

Bullying, hazing, teasing and more - parents need to start educating themselves and their children about this harmful issue and how serious it is. As I stated in yesterday’s Blog, the tragic loss of young lives is unspeakable - and when you hear that these kids were constantly bullied and teased, there has to be a stop to it. Hazing is just as serious. Many teens/tweens are pulled into this horrible activity in an effort to “fit in” or think they will be with the “cool” group. Think twice - learn more now.

Source: Connect with Kids

“I think that hazing by nature is not necessarily a bad thing. It’s when it gets humiliating or cruel or overly anxiety-provoking and it becomes a traumatic event, we have to get rid of that.”

– John Lochridge, Ph.D., psychologist

Fifteen-year-old Sean Butkus sees hazing as a pretty normal part of team sports.

“Hazing is a way of initiating a kid and seeing if they’re determined enough’ he says. “Just like, it’s like a test to see if you know they’re gonna be there for you.”

As a freshman, Sean joined his older brother’s soccer team this fall. So he knew what to expect from hearing about his brother’s experience.

“He got his head shaved” says Sean. “And I knew maybe that would happen to me. I actually got a Mohawk.”

Psychologist John Lochridge makes the point that not all of these ‘rites of passage’ are damaging. They were originally meant to bring a group closer together through some sort of hardship, but within certain boundaries.

“I think that hazing by nature is not necessarily a bad thing,” Lochridge says. “It’s when it gets humiliating or cruel or overly anxiety-provoking and it becomes a traumatic event, we have to get rid of that.”

A new survey finds that 45 percent of high school kids have been hazed: one in four was sleep deprived and 8 percent of the kids had to drink so much they either got sick or passed out.

“There’s just not enough supervisors to see what’s happening in every room – what’s happening in the bathroom, the locker room – there’s just so many places where so many things can happen,” Sean says.

Experts say the key is for the adults in charge to be proactive, to be alert, to ask questions and to make boundaries clear at the beginning of the year or the start of the season.

“There needs to be no sexuality involved and no abuse, no nudity, no humiliation – those kinds of things are above and beyond,” says Lochridge.

And coaches in particular can make sure they pick the right kids to be the team leaders.

It helps to have captains who are approachable, who are mature enough to listen to the new kids, Lochridge states.

“You want a relationship somewhere between the kids where the ones who are being hazed can go to the older ones and say, look, this is enough,” he adds. “It’s gone over the line. It’s getting inappropriate. And hopefully, the older ones have the wisdom to respond to that.”

Sean was lucky. His team captains were responsible and his experience was all in good fun.

“I mean, we still laugh about it,” he says. “I liked it.”

Tips for Parents

Hazing was created as a way to develop teamwork and unity among a group of individuals. It was also designed to “prove one’s worth.” While trust, devotion and determination are important attributes to possess, many organizations who participate in hazing take it to the extreme, turning it from a symbol of loyalty into a celebration of humiliation. Experts have developed a list of alternatives to hazing.

Plan events in which the whole group, team or organization attends (such as field trips, retreats, dances, movies and plays).
Participate in team-building activities (visiting a ropes course, playing paint ball, etc.).
Plan a social event with another group.
Develop a peer-mentor program within the group, teaming seasoned members with new members.
Work together on a community service project or plan fundraisers for local charitable organizations.
Hazing may not seem like a big deal to a lot of people. Students and parents may consider hazing a part of tradition, having fun or harmless pranks. But according to D’Arcy Lyness, a child and adolescent psychologist, viewing hazing this way only adds to the problem. It trivializes the actual dangers that exist in the act of hazing. There are steps, however, that parents can take to help prevent hazing, Lyness says.

Be educated about state anti-hazing laws (all but seven states have some sort of law applying to schools, colleges, universities and other educational institutions). Some schools – and states – may group hazing and bullying together in policies and laws.

Make sure your child’s school and/or district has clearly defined policies that prohibit hazing, is taking measures to proactively prevent hazing from occurring and is acting immediately with repercussions when hazing does occur.

Ask your parent-teacher association and/or school administrators to invite a local law-enforcement official to speak to parents and/or the student body about hazing and the state’s anti-hazing law.

Work with school personnel and student leaders to create powerful – and safe – experiences to promote positive alternatives to hazing that would foster cohesion in group, club and team membership.

Talk to other parents – especially those of upperclassmen and your child’s sports teammates – about what their children may have seen or experienced. If you know that the problem exists at your child’s school, you’ll be better prepared to discuss it with your child, fellow parents and school officials.

Clich├ęd as it is, have the “if everyone else was jumping off the bridge, would you do it, too?” conversation with your child. Talk about why your child shouldn’t feel pressured to participate in anything, even if “everyone else is doing it” or “it’s always been done this way.”

Talk specifically about hazing and what your child would do in a hypothetical hazing situation. Discuss how the group mentality sometimes can cause people to wait for someone else to do the right thing, stop something dangerous, speak out, etc. Discuss the topic in a way that doesn’t lecture or tell your child what to think or do. Let your child know that often it takes just one person to speak out or take different action to change a situation. Others will follow if someone has the courage to be first to do something different or to be first to refuse to go along with the group.

Explain to your child that physical and mental abuse, no matter how harmless it may seem, isn’t part of becoming a member of the in crowd or a specific group, and that it even may be against the law. Emphasize the importance of telling you and an adult at school whenever another kid or group of kids causes your child or anyone else physical harm.

If your child has experienced hazing, talk to school officials immediately. If physical abuse was involved, talk to your local law-enforcement agency. Though he or she may be unwilling or may feel uneasy about “telling on” peers, get precise details from your child about the incident – who, what, when, where and how.

Above all, maintain open communication with your child. Always ask what’s going at school, what peers are doing, what pressures are present – physically, academically and socially. Encourage your child to come to you in any uncomfortable situation, big or small.

Kids Health
Stop Hazing
National School Safety Center
University of Maine

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Residential Therapy and Teen Help Programs

Are you a parent and your teen is escalating in negative behavior? Wanting to drop out of school? Using drugs? Running away? Defiant and disrepectful? Struggling with peer pressure and simply not the child you raised? Are you at your wit’s end? Especially if your teen is nearing 17 years old, don’t waste time in finding help.

For many that have read my book - Wit’s End! (Published by Health Communications Inc.) - which give my experiences with WWASPS and my daughters experiences with Carolina Springs Academy, it is a wake up call for all parents that are at their wit’s end and desperately looking for help for their struggling teenager.

Are you worried or concerned about your teens recent behavior? Do you believe it is time for outside help? Local therapy is not working?

Visit my organization, Parents Universal Resource Experts, that I created to help educate you on researching for safe and quality alternatives for your family.

Are you considering these programs or talking to these sales reps?

Academy of Ivy Ridge, NY (CLOSED)
Bell Academy, CA (CLOSED)
Canyon View Park, MT
Camas Ranch, MT
Carolina Springs Academy, SC
Cross Creek Programs, UT (Cross Creek Center and Cross Creek Manor)
Darrington Academy, GA (CLOSED)
Help My Teen, UT (Adolescent Services Adolescent Placement) Promotes and markets these programs.
Gulf Coast Academy, MS (CLOSED)
Horizon Academy, NV
Jane Hawley - Lifelines Family Services
Kathy Allred - Lifeline Sales Representative
Lisa Irvin (Helpmyteen) and Teens in Crisis
Lifelines Family Services, UT (Promotes and markets these programs) Jane Hawley
Mark Peterson - Teen Help Sales Representative
Majestic Ranch, UT
Midwest Academy, IA (Brian Viafanua, formerly the Director of Paradise Cove as shown on Primetime, is the current Director here)
Parent Teen Guide (Promotes and markets these programs)
Pillars of Hope, Costa Rica
Pine View Christian Academy (Borders FL, AL, MS)
Reality Trek, UT
Red River Academy, LA (Borders TX)
Respect Academy, NV
Royal Gorge Academy, CO (CLOSED)
Sherri Schwartzman - Lifelines Sales Representative
Sky View Academy, NV (allegedly closed?)
Spring Creek Lodge, MT (CLOSED) Rumors they have re-opened in another area of MT.
Teen Help, UT (Promotes and markets these programs)
Teens In Crisis (Lisa Irvin)
Tranquility Bay, Jamaica
Oceanside, CA - rumors of short term program there.

There is a rumor a new program in Mexico is open - parents need to be aware of this. It is believed they have re-opened Casa By the Sea with another name - possibly Discovery. Another rumor that was heard is Jade Robinson is running this program - he was formerly at Horizon Academy, Bell Academy (closed) and Casa by the Sea (closed).

Do your homework! Don’t be a parent at risk! Learn from my experiences, my daughter’s abuse and gain from my knowledge through the legal victories I have accomplished.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Sue Scheff - Teen Obesity and Childhood Obesity - It’s Up to You….

What a great informational website on child obesity, eating healthy, and learning about how to make healthy changes in your family’s diet.

Live a Healthy Lifestyle by Dr. Oz Mehmet offers great advice on this fantastic website as well as other experts and professionals.

KNOW THE FACTS - Today teens are eating more and participating less in physical activity than the healthy amounts experts recommend.
What are kids eating - Kids’ Food has Excessive Sugar, Fat and Salt - learn more details here:
Effects of Obesity - It’s not just a “weight problem.” Learn the many ways becoming obese at a young age can affect a child now and in the future. Click on the figure below to see the effects of childhood obesity.

It’s Up 2 U!

12.5 million American children are obese. By 2010, this number will increase by 20%. Isn’t it time we make a change?
Get on board with the Fit Kids Act today at Then, check out the four-week Chiquita Family Challenge complete with menus, daily fitness and activity charts , kid-friendly recipes from Chef Robert Rainford and lifestyle tips from Dr. Oz’s HealthCorps at

Learn more at and join their FaceBook group at

Friday, May 1, 2009

Sue Scheff: Summer Jobs and Teens

A Guide for Teens: How to Find a Summer or Part-Time Job
by Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D.

Even if summer vacation is still a few months away for most teens, now is the time to plan and lay a foundation for landing that cool summer job you really want.

Some caveats: This article is really geared to older high school and college teens, with a focus on summer jobs, not internships. For younger teens (under 15), check out another article I wrote, Job Ideas for Teens 15 and Younger: Beyond Babysitting. For college students looking for internship tips, we’re working on such an article, but for now, please visit: Quintessential Careers: College Internship Resources.

The Action Plan for Teens Wanting a Summer JobThe first step you need to do is decide on the summer job you want or need -– in terms of the type of job, the location, the hours, the pay. You may not be able to find a job that meets all your needs, but given the current employment situation you should strive to find one that meets as many as possible.

The second step you need to do is complete a self-analysis. What do you have to offer an employer? What kind of skills do you have? What kind of other work have you done -– paid or volunteer? What have you learned at school that might be useful in your ideal summer job?
The third step you need to do is develop a resume. You will put forth a very professional image if you present a professional-looking resume to potential employers. You’ll want to visit Quintessential Careers: Resume Resources. You’ll also need to learn about cover letters, so plan on visiting Quintessential Careers: Cover Letter Resources.

The fourth step you need to do is use all your available resources to land that ideal summer job. Talk with your parents and older family members, your friends’ parents, your teachers, and any other adults you know and ask them if they have any contacts at your ideal job’s company. Give them copies of your resume. We call this step networking, and it will give you the highest chances of landing your ideal job.

The fifth step is hitting the pavement, reading the newspaper want ads, and/or surfing the Web. If you don’t get any job leads from the fourth step, you have to take action!

The sixth step is applying for the jobs that interest you. This step is where you again use your resume. Make sure you are familiar with job applications and have all the information you need to complete them.

The seventh step is interviewing for the jobs. Make sure you know something about the company; develop answers to common interview questions; think of a few questions you could ask; practice, practice, practice with a family member of friend; dress conservatively for the interview. You can read these interviewing tips in more detail — and find lots more — by visiting Quintessential Careers: Interviewing Resources.

Where Teens can Find Summer JobsThere are any number of places where you can look for a good summer job:

Local merchants: local stores often need good help – and not just in the summer.
Small businesses: most towns have a number of small business offices – and your family or friends probably know several owners or office managers.

Corporate offices: many have established summer jobs and internship programs, but often these are the most competitive.

Stores at the mall: have a favorite store you like to shop at in the mall? Maybe now is the time to get a job there –- just be careful not to spend all your earnings buying their products.

Hotels and resorts: summer is the busy season for most hotels and resorts.

Tourist attractions: even if you don’t live in Florida or California, most states have tourist attractions that especially need help during the busy tourism season.

Golf & Tennis clubs: as the weather improves, these clubs are usually looking for part-time help.

Grocery stores: maybe not the most exciting jobs, but probably the most convenient -– and not just for summer.

Fast food and restaurants: local restaurants always need good help -– and while not the most glamorous, it’s still a job.

Parks and recreation departments: city, state, and national parks and recreation departments often develop special summer programs, and thus have job opportunities.

Local government summer job programs: often various government agencies sponsor different kinds of summer youth work programs.

Summer camps: okay, you went to camp as a kid – now you can go back as a counselor and get paid while being at camp.

Working for yourself: there are all sorts of jobs/businesses you could develop for yourself in your neighborhood –- Check out my article, Job Ideas for Teens 15 and Younger: Beyond Babysitting.
The Web: especially if you want to work outside your neighborhood, or even your state, the Web is the place for you to explore all sorts of summer job opportunities -– so go visit Quintessential Careers: Summer Job Websites.

What do Employers Look for in TeensEmployers want motivated teens who are going to arrive to work on time, have a positive attitude, work hard, work well with others, show leadership qualities, work their full shift, and do the best job they can. You need to show your employer that you are a good investment, both for the current position, as well as for any potential future positions.

Final Words of AdviceJobs are jobs. You are going to have to work, no matter how “cool” the job or company, so be prepared for some days to not be as great as others. The keys to remember are that you are earning money, you are gaining experience, and you are making good contacts (and references)!

Questions about some of the terminology used in this article? Get more information (definitions and links) on key college, career, and job-search terms by going to our Job-Seeker’s Glossary of Job-Hunting Terms.

Dr. Randall S. Hansen is founder of Quintessential Careers, one of the oldest and most comprehensive career development sites on the Web, as well CEO of He is also founder of and He is publisher of Quintessential Careers Press, including the Quintessential Careers electronic newsletter, QuintZine. Dr. Hansen is also a published author, with several books, chapters in books, and hundreds of articles. He’s often quoted in the media and conducts empowering workshops around the country. Finally, Dr. Hansen is also an educator, having taught at the college level for more than 15 years. Visit his personal Website or reach him by email at randall(at)

Reprinted with permission; copyright Quintessential Careers