Friday, December 31, 2010

Underage Drinking and Parenting Teens

New Year's Eve is upon us and whether you are planning on going out or staying home it is important to know and  understand that buzzed driving is drunk driving.  They kill equally and destroy families in the same way.

Last year, an average of 62 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes each day over the New Year’s holiday.  Don't become a statistic and don't cause one.

Show your support to end buzzed driving by pledging to make good decisions by not driving under the influence of alcohol. Take the time to share the pledge with others and with your help, we can end buzzed driving.

I'm going to be smart; I won't drive while buzzed.

Even just one too many drinks can impair my driving and lead to devastating consequences. It's just not worth it. Buzzed driving is drunk driving so I'm going to make sure I make responsible choices that don't endanger myself and others. - Sue Scheff
Isn't it time you took the pledge?

Teenage and underage drinking is a serious concern.  Teens admit one of the main reasons they drink alcohol is to reduce stress.  Far less emphasis was placed on peer pressure surrounding drinking.  In most instances, teens are getting alcohol from older siblings and more often than not are getting away with drinking in their parents’ home without adults recognizing the problem.

As New Year's Eve is approaching, there usually is more opportunity for teens to be able to access alcohol.  Be proactive - talk to your teenager about the dangers of drinking and driving.  We know we will never be able to control what our teens are doing all the time, but we can continue to talk to them about the consequences of substance abuse and driving.

In St. Johns County get your teens involved in PACT (Prevention Advocacy Prevention Teamwork) and learn more about being part of a proactive community to help prevent substance abuse.

Learn more about Buzzed Driving Ad Council Campaign - follow them on Twitter and join them on Facebook.

Be an educated parent, you will have safer teens.

Read more.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Holidays, Gifts and Parenting - Staying Sane

During the holidays it is great to have guest Bloggers and Experts to add to my Blog.  Today, my good friend and Parenting Expert (also Today Show Contributor), Michele Borba has written a very timely and educational article.  Spending Time (Not Every Dime) Together for the Holidays! Especially today, as so much materialism has developed – compounded with a stressed economy – families need to learn the value of holidays without the materialistic aspect.  Read on and don’t forget to order Michele Borba’s best selling parenting book (scroll down).

By Dr. Michele Borba

Parenting advice to help your kids enjoy the holidays without splurging and find the silver lining in spending less money but more time with your family.

In the midst of our lousy economy, many families have decided to take holiday spending down a notch and cut back on the shopping and gift-giving. After all, it’s a tight economy, jobs are scarce, and the holidays can be pricey. The last thing you need to do right now is dip into those hard-earned savings. But many parents facing a toned-down Christmas find that their biggest concern is not how to cut back this year, but how to prepare their kids for fewer presents under the tree. It’s all about the timing, and now is when you should start prepping your kids for a back-to-basics Christmas.

The worst thing to do is to announce to your kids on Christmas Eve, “Oh, by the way, Santa won’t be able to make it this year.” Making that last-minute announcement will come as a shock to your kids after weeks of anticipation and excitement. It’s best to tell them now, but regardless of when you tell them, be prepared for your kids to protest.

At first, the thought of fewer presents might not sit very well with your kids, but by explaining your situation to them, you will soon find that your kids will understand. Cutting back this year will take a little effort, but with a little planning you may discover that it not only saves money, but also takes a lot of stress out of the holidays—and it can even make them more enjoyable. The silver lining to spending less on the holidays is that you will help your kids understand the real meaning Christmas: it’s the people, not the things, that matter. Besides, this is a great way for your kids to learn that the gifts with the most value don’t cost a thing.

Tips to help you cut back while still enjoying the holiday merriment

Set a budget. Start by taking an honest look at your family’s finances. Based on your situation, decide on a holiday budget that is affordable. Write down that amount and pledge to not spend one penny more. Above all, do not dig into your hard-earned savings. Financial security is far more important to a child than some pricey present that is all-too-quickly forgotten (or broken). And if cutting back makes you feel guilty, ease up on yourself. Children are much more resilient than we credit them for. And remember, you are teaching your kids a valuable lesson.

Share new expectations. Pass your new holiday plans on to your kids by simply explaining that everyone will be receiving fewer presents. Kids don’t have big expectations about the holidays unless we build them. A calm, matter-of-fact approach usually works best. If you are asked the “why” question, just be honest and say it’s because money is tighter. Use the “birds and bees” talk guidelines: provide details that are age-appropriate and only on a need-to-know basis. Your kids don’t need to hear dismal financial details or all about your mortgage bills. Just give your kids a heads-up enough time in advance to keep their expectations in check as the holiday season approaches.

Reframe Santa. Over the past several decades, kids have grown to believe that the guy from the North Pole can grant any wish. I think Santa’s ‘magic giving powers’ were due to manufacturers who wanted parents to buy more-more-more, causing the holidays to become a consumer buying frenzy. So take Santa’s magic down just a notch and tell your younger kids what our grandparents were told, ‘Santa decides what he will bring to each child. He has so many boys and girls to deliver packages to. It’ll be fun to see what will be under the tree.” You don’t have to take all the magic out of Christmas, just don’t build false hopes that Santa is guaranteed to bring everything your child desires.

Cut out the holiday fluff. When it comes to the holidays, the extra little purchases here and there really tend to add up. Think about all of the holiday paraphernalia you purchased last year—gift cards, ribbon, wrapping paper, greeting cards, postage, table decorations, etc.—and get your kids involved in helping you make them instead. For instance, your older kids can create holiday cards via the computer by typing up personal greetings, scanning photos, or decorating with online holiday images and emailing them to friends and family to save on stamps. Your kids (young and old) can create wrapping paper by decorating brown butcher paper or grocery bags turned inside out with drawings or cookie cutters dipped in tempera paint. Even younger children can make tags for presents with index cards and holiday stickers from the dollar store. Get creative with your kids. Not only will you save money, you’ll bank some fantastic holiday memories in the process.

Make the holidays for the kids. It’s expensive enough to buy gifts for your kids, but when you consider purchasing gifts for everyone else that you know, (friends, grandparents, aunts, uncles, parents, etc.) you can quickly blow your holiday budget before you even get to purchasing gifts for kids. Instead of shopping for that mile-long list of friends and relatives, forgo the gift exchange and put that money towards the kid gifts. Your friends and family will understand and might even be relieved that they won’t have to buy you something in return. After all, most of us wouldn’t really miss receiving another tie from Aunt Harriet or bath powder from your sister.

Draw names. If forgoing the gift exchange with your extended family is not an option, you could propose that instead everyone draw the name of just one family member to buy a gift for. You could also set a ten dollar gift limit. This goes for both adults and kids. Having a price limit will make sure that kids have to be creative in their gift-giving and will teach them about sticking to a budget.

Check out thrift stores. The best gifts don’t always have to come wrapped in their original packaging, and you don’t have to pay full price to give someone a thoughtful gift that they will love. When shopping for gifts, don’t overlook the dollar stores, garage sales, book sales at the library, thrift stores, discount stores, and e-Bay. By shopping around, you can find great sale items and perfect stocking stuffers at greatly reduced prices.

Emphasize together time. Suggest that family members give the gift of time to your kids instead of purchased gifts. Have a family outing to a zoo, skating rink, or to the beach. You can even go berry picking or kite flying. Teaching your kids a specific skill such as how to fish, bake an apple cobbler, knit a scarf, or throw a football is also a fantastic way to give your “time gift.” The point is that you are spending time together, and whatever you choose to do, being together often proves to be more memorable than opening up that “it” toy or electronic device that will soon be forgotten.

Suggest handmade instead of store bought. While preparing for that gift exchange, specify that a certain number should be no-cost items. Doing so makes Christmas less consumer-driven and brings back the true spirit of giving. Aside from crafty ideas, remind your kids that coupon books are great gifts that they can share with family members. These coupons can promise to call Grandma once a week, pledge to bake cookies for Grandpa, or vow to take out the trash for Mom sans nagging.
In the end, remember that the holidays are really meant to be about love, togetherness, and wonderful memories. ‘Cutting back’ this year may actually just be a blessing in disguise, a way to help your kids understand the true meaning of Christmas and bring back the real magic of the holidays.
Dr. Michele Borba, Parenting Expert 

Order her book today - Big Book of Parenting Solutions.  It is the one and only book you will need for many years to come!  I often refer to it as the Big Book of Parenting Recipes!  Michele Borba is our Julia Child  – Number one when it comes to parenting as Julia Child was to cooking!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

iPad Gives Voice to the Autistic

As technology expands and we see the latest gadgets grow, it is rewarding when we hear about the positive effects they are having with special needs children.

Over the past several months, there have been a number of ways the iPad is helping to enhance the lives of individuals with special needs and/or medical issues. The technology won't fix autism, a developmental disorder that affects the brain. But it's a leap forward.

iPad's are one of the most popular wanted gadgets among teens and adults today.  Did your teen put one on their holiday list?

Keystone Academy in Jacksonville, recently opened to accomodate students pre-K through 12th grades with special needs.  Instruction at The Keystone Academy is based on the tenets of behavioral education, which is designed to give each child the skills they need in order to benefit from their educational placement in the least restrictive environment possible.

"The iPad definitely has benefits, applications, that can be used with children, teens and adults that are autistic," noted one of the therapist's at Keystone Academy.

Children with autism aren't the only ones who will benefit. The new applications are also showing promise for kids with other language and communication disorders.

Learn more about the iPad and autism, watch the video.

Autism: What to do when the iPad is not in your holiday budget?  Click here.
Pricing and more information on iPad's, click here.
Be an educated parent, you will have smarter kids!

Read more.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Teen Driving at the Holidays: Car Accidents Happen

Teen driving.  One of the major steps into adulthood for a teenager.

As most parents of teens know, when their child is of age to get their drivers license, it can be a day of freedom for them and stress for you.
Are they ready for this major responsibility?  Do you know the dangers of distracted driving?  Are they familiar with the car's equipment?  Have you had them sign a safe drivers contract?

Although accidents are never predictable, it is very possible your teen will eventually experience an auto accident.  Safety first always, and whether it is a fender bender or a serious crash, being prepared is part of being ready to take the wheel.

Always have your insurance card, registration and driver's license when you get behind the wheel.  Whether you are pulled over for a traffic infraction or in an accident, you will need these three items.

American Family Insurance has quicklist of tips if you or your teen are in an auto accident.  It is wise to review them with your new teen driver and even yourself.
  1. Stop your vehicle as quickly as possible, keeping safety in mind.
  2. Warn oncoming traffic by using your emergency flashers.
  3. Help the injured, but don't move them unless absolutely necessary.
  4. Call the local police or sheriff, or the state patrol.
  5. Don't talk about the accident to people other than authorities, such as the local police, sheriff or the state patrol. Don't sign any statements except for those requested by the authorities.
  6. Make an accident report to the police. If the police will not come to the accident scene, make sure you report it, even a hit-and-run.
  7. Report the accident to your insurance company.
Be an educated parent, you will have safer teens!

Read more.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Teen Help Programs - Know the "Industry"

Don't be a parent in denial.
Are you at your wit's end and desperately searching the Internet for help for your out of control teen? Is your child a good teen making some very bad choices? Failing in school? Underachieving? Defiant? Runaway? Teen drug use? Teen drinking?

Are you considering a Residential Treatment Center (RTC), Therapeutic Boarding School (TBS), Emotional Growth Program, Behavioral Modification Program, Wilderness Program, etc?

As a Parent Advocate, I founded my organization after struggling with my own teenage daughter. My story has been widely read and published by Health Communications, Inc - original home of Chicken Soup for the Soul book series.

My daughter was harmed at Carolina Springs Academy. I won a court battle in 2004 proving my allegations against World Wide Association of Specialty Programs (WWASPS - the umbrella that Carolina Springs Academy fell under) and what they did to my daughter and the deception I endured.

It has been brought to my attention that Carolina Springs Academy lost their license and re-opened with a new name in 2009 - "Magnolia Christian School".  As they closed again in June of 2010, rumors lingered about whether they were housing teens at the owners home.  Now we are hearing they are re-opening again in early 2011 and their target is me!  (Don't I feel special).  Why are they so afraid of my story - they sued me to get it down, they lost - then started a smear campaign online - and I won again - this time over $11M jury verdict for damages they did to me.

This time Magnolia Christian School will be classified as a Christian boarding school, making it exempt from state licensing and staffing rules.  Now why don't they want to be regulated by the state?  Is this in the best interest of your child?

Learn more - visit today!

Your teen may be struggling - but that doesn't mean they deserved to be abused and neglected - on the contrary, you need to find quality care to determine where this negative behavior is stemming from.  Learn more about residential therapy on

More from Parenting Expert, Dr. Michele Borba.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Teens and Cell Phones

Is there a teen that doesn't have a cell phone?  Is there a teen that doesn't know how to text?  More parents are just learning to text, as their kids can go at the speed of lightening.

Does your teen want a new fancier phone for the holidays?  Have they earned it?

Each family is different when it comes to raising their kids and what determines if they get new gadgets or not, however what shouldn't be different is the laws laid down about safe texting.

Especially if your teenager is also a driver, they need to understand the consequences of distracted driving - whether it is putting on make-up, changing the radio station or iPod, or texting while driving - it is never acceptable.  When operating a vehicle your 100% attention is needed to be on the road.

Florida Highway Patrol offers these tips you need to share with your teen drivers:
  • Make safe driving your first priority. If talking on your cell phone is going to distract you, don't use it while driving. If you are behind the wheel and you get a call, just let it ring! If the caller wants to talk to you, he will leave a message. If you suddenly need to make a call, pull over and stop your car as soon as you can.
  • Keep your eyes on the road. If you absolutely must use your cell phone while driving, don't take your eyes off the road - not even for a second! If you have to dial a number, use speed dial if possible. Better yet, wait until you are stopped at a traffic light or stop sign, dial the number quickly, then place your call before pulling back into traffic. If you must answer a call while driving, make sure your phone is where you can easily find it without taking your eyes off the road. You should memorize the feel of the buttons on your phone so that you don't have to look down at it to accept or place a call.
  • Be Prepared. If you are expecting calls or know that you will be placing calls while you are behind the wheel, make preparations. Don't take notes or look up numbers while driving. Again, keep your eyes on the road. Use speed dial or keep all numbers handy. If at all possible, install a hands-free device to avoid having to take your hands off the wheel.
  • Limit Conversation. A cell phone is useful in emergencies and is definitely convenient. However, it can be abused. Drivers who engage in lengthy or involved conversations are just asking for trouble. It is very hard to concentrate on driving while you are trying to make vacation plans or comfort a friend in the hospital. You should not engage in stressful or emotional conversations that may distract you from your primary task - driving your car!
  • Use Common Sense. Know when it is safe to talk on your cell phone. You should not talk on the cell phone during hazardous driving conditions. If road conditions are not safe, traffic is heavy, or weather is severe, don't use your cell phone -- it is simply not worth risking a crash…or your life!
Be an educated parent, you will have safer teens!

Read more.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Parenting Teens: Is Your Teen Ready for College?

How much preparation is your teen doing to get ready for college?  Besides dreaming about a new freedom, are they taking the education seriously?  The coursework can be different and very challenging to some.  Keeping your teen motivated in a positive direction is important.+

Source: Connect with Kids

College Prep or Not?

We found that when students take those upper-level courses, beyond Algebra Two … it greatly increased their chances of being ready for college.”

– Jon Erickson, ACT Educational Services

As high school seniors all over the country work to complete their college applications, a troubling new study called the 2010 Deloitte Education Survey reveals that slightly less than one-third of high school educators feel their students are prepared for college when they leave high school. In fact, findings support that a third of college students are taking remedial courses in college.

Twins Lauren and Stefanie are college freshman. Both of them say their high school wasn’t all that demanding.

Lauren says: “I saw teachers who lacked willingness to really be there. Teachers who I thought didn’t really seem to care about preparing their students.” And she notes, “I didn’t see a lot of incentives in my school for students to be academically motivated. We didn’t really get any kind of rewards or anything like that for being motivated.”

Stefanie had a similar experience. “Most of my friends,” she says, “were in what was called on-level classes. And the on-level classes were not intense. (They) did not require much effort at all … didn’t require attendance, even.”

That leaves many experts wondering … are high school kids prepared for college?
Jon Erickson, vice president of educational services for ACT, which administers the annual college entrance exam, explains, “If students aren’t ready for college, especially as measured by the college readiness benchmarks, their odds of either not getting into college, of going into remediation or not doing well once in college or of not graduating are greatly increased.”
According to the Deloitte 2010 Education Survey, more than one-third of college freshman need remedial courses to catch up. And a staggering 92 percent of teachers surveyed say they don’t have the data to help them measure how their students are doing in college – to make adjustments to their coursework.
Experts say, the way to get ready for college is for high school kids to take the toughest courses they can.

“We found that when students take those upper-level courses beyond Algebra Two… the upper science courses like physics,” says Erickson, “it greatly increased their chances of being ready for college, regardless of how they do in high school.”

And he says parents can play a huge role in motivating their kids. “We find that if they help their students choose their four-year course plan very early in eighth-grade, that’s a great benefit to students.”
Stefanie and Lauren say they were encouraged to take those higher-level courses, and it’s paying off. Both are doing well in their first semester in college as they head into final exams.
“I’ve always been very into my education and wanting to push for success,” says Lauren, “and my parents always placed a big emphasis on my schoolwork.” Stefanie says, “I really feel that I was prepared, that I know what my teachers expect of me.”

What We Need To Know

Schools nationwide are urged to strengthen the high school core curriculum to help improve students’ readiness for college and the workforce. Students in K-8 who are not learning the foundational skills for rigorous high school coursework should be identified earlier and provided with supportive interventions, thus preparing them for higher-level math and science courses such as trigonometry, pre-calculus, chemistry and physics.

A new study by ACT, Inc. reveals that racial and income gaps in college success rates can be narrowed by ensuring that all students take a rigorous core curriculum in high school. The report, entitled “Mind the Gaps: How College Readiness Narrows Achievement Gaps in College Success,” calls for college and career readiness standards that are aligned among K-12, postsecondary education, and workforce training programs. It also suggests that student readiness for college and career should be monitored early and often.
The U.S. Department of Education prepared this list of recommended high school coursework for college-bound students. The specific classes listed here are examples of the types of courses students can take:
  • English for four years. Types of classes include American Literature, Composition, English Literature and World Literature.
  • Mathematics: Three to four years. Types of classes include Algebra I, Algebra II, Calculus, Geometry, Precalculus, Trigonometry. History and Geography for two to three years. Types of classes include Civics, Geography, U.S. History, U.S. Government, World History, World Cultures.
  • Laboratory Science for two to four years. Types of classes include Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science, Physics.
  • Foreign Language for two to four years.
  • Visual and Performing Arts for at least one year. Types of classes include Art, Dance, Drama or Music.
  • Challenging Electives for one to three years. Types of classes can include Communications, Computer Science, Economics, Psychology, Statistics.
Students and their parents should enlist the support of the high school guidance counselor. Questions to ask can include:
  • What basic academic courses do you recommend for students who want to go to college?
  • How many years of each academic subject does the high school require for graduation?
  • What elective courses do you recommend for college-bound students?
  • Can students who are considering college get special help or tutoring?
  • What activities can students do at home and over the summers to strengthen their preparation for college?
  • How much homework is expected of students preparing for college?
  • What do different colleges require in terms of high school grades and SAT or ACT scores?


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Teens and Sex: Remaining a Virgin in College

Believe it or not, some teens do in fact want to remain virgins until marriage. If you are part of this group and have managed to survive high school with your virginity still intact, then you have completed a huge accomplishment. But you will learn early on that during college you will be faced with a variety of different challenges that might make your vow of celibacy hard to keep. But there are some easy and practical ways that you can remain a virgin in college.

The first thing you need to do is know your limits. If you wish to remain a virgin, this doesn't mean that you have to cast off the opposite sex indefinitely, but you do need to be open about your desire to remain a virgin and set your limits. As cliché as it may sound, many lose their virginities because they were "caught up in the heat of the moment." So it's best not to put yourself into a situation that could jeopardize your virginity. For example, if you have no intentions of surpassing passionate kissing (or whatever your limit may be) let your partner know and make sure that it never truly gets past that point.  Know your limits and stick to them. If your boyfriend/girlfriend or date becomes agitated with your limits, then it's probably best you send them on their way and find someone else who is understanding. And there are people out there who are understanding, don't doubt that.

Another way to remain a virgin in college is to avoid temptations like alcohol. All too often males and females lose their virginities with a one night stand because they were drunk.  Not only do they lose something in an instant they've worked their whole lives to keep, but drunken sex is also a common way people contract STDs and get pregnant (they tend to forget about using contraceptives). Avoiding temptations doesn't necessarily mean you can't have fun and go to parties, but you can either not consume alcoholic drinks all together, or at least make sure you drink responsibility.  Limit yourself to one or two, nursing them rather than "chugging," and eat a good meal beforehand.

Lastly, don't make having sex, or rather not having sex, a goal. This is because if you constantly have it on your brain, it will become an active part of your thinking process. Once it's a part of your thinking process, you will either have to constantly resist the urge or you will let it take over your life—potentially sabotaging a wonderful relationship for fear that you will be pressured into having sex. Instead of worrying about having sex or not having sex, immerse yourself in your other interests and your school work. When your mind is stimulated and satisfied in other ways, you will become less interested in sex.

This guest post is contributed by Kate Willson, who writes on the topics of top online colleges.  She welcomes your comments at her email Id:  This article is reprinted with the author's permission.

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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Parenting ADHD: 10 Common Myths of ADHD

In a recent government survey, 1 in 10 kids was said to have ADHD, a sizable increase from a few years earlier that researchers think might be explained by growing awareness and better screening.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) has been the subject of scrutiny in recent years due to the perception that it’s a faux disorder. A patient isn’t diagnosed after an X-ray or blood test, but rather with a behavioral evaluation that considers his or her unique situation. The lack of physical evidence fuels the skeptics despite the fact that many of them lack experience in dealing with the disorder. Just ask a parent of a child or an adult who suffers from ADHD, and they’ll tell you that it’s more than just the occasional loss of concentration -- it hinders their ability to function to their potential, in school and social situations. The following myths have been perpetuated by people who don’t understand ADHD but have been debunked by doctors, mental health professionals and people who live with the disorder.
  1. ADHD isn’t a real problem: It’s a common opinion that disorders like ADHD were devised by drug companies in order to make a few extra bucks, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, it’s a recognized disorder by the American Psychiatric Association (APA), Centers for Disease Control (CDC), American Medical Association (AMA), National Institutes of Health (NIH) and a majority of national psychiatric and psychological organizations. Acknowledgment of ADHD is almost unanimous by mental health professionals and researchers who have studied it.
  2. ADHD is an excuse: As previously mentioned, ADHD is a legitimate disorder, and one that can hinder a person’s ability to reach their full academic and personal potential. Symptoms include: difficulty focusing on one thing, difficulty learning something new or completing a task, listening problems, general confusion and disorganization, the inability to sit still, the constant desire to be in motion, excessive talking, the inability to remain quiet for even short periods of time, and poor impulse control. A comprehensive list of symptoms is available by clicking the link.
  3. Strict discipline can solve childhood ADHD-caused problems: Many people claim that strict discipline can solve a child’s behavioral problems caused by ADHD. Some skeptics tend to view it as a generational problem, asserting that children are spoiled and need to be more harshly punished for their actions. The truth of the matter is that children with ADHD lack sufficient impulse control and excessive punishment can prove damaging to their mental health. And while it’s important to set clear expectations and establish structure, it’s also essential that parents remain patient with their children.
  4. All ADHD sufferers are hyperactive: Although constant hyperactivity is the primary problem associated with ADHD, it’s not the only symptom. Inattentive-type ADHD, or ADHD without the “H,” has become more recognized by the medical community in recent years. A person can control their impulses while being inattentive, which can lead to substandard academic performance. Even shyness is characteristic of inattentive-type ADHD sufferers; children with the disorder require positive attention, as low self-esteem may become an issue.
  5. ADHD indicates a lack of intelligence: A Yale report published in 2009 showed that about three of four people with ADHD and an IQ score of more than 120 experienced difficulties with memory and cognitive tests. On the other hand, people without ADHD with similar IQ scores didn’t have as many problems. ADHD doesn’t discriminate based on IQ score. People of all intelligence levels have it; many just need assistance in harnessing their capabilities.
  6. ADHD medication causes a drugged feeling: A doctor or mental health specialist will determine the appropriate treatment for ADHD based on the unique needs of the patient. Side effects are closely monitored and if a medication has an adverse effect, the dosage will be lowered or it will be changed to something more suitable. The stimulant that’s typically prescribed comes in different forms, including capsule, pill, patch and liquid. Some have short-term effects while others have long-term effects. In short, there’s not one treatment that’s applied to everyone.
  7. ADHD can be diagnosed through a medication trial: Psychostimulants have the same effect on people without ADHD as they do on people with ADHD, so a noticeable difference in behavior subsequent to taking a medication isn’t a true indicator that a person has the disorder. A person who thinks they may have ADHD should consult a doctor or mental health specialist, and he or she will make an assessment with the assistance of diagnostic criteria established by the American Psychiatric Association, or the American Academy of Pediatrics if a child is being examined.
  8. ADHD diagnoses have become too common: According to the CDC, just three to seven percent of school-aged children had ADHD in 2006. Between 1997 and 2006, diagnoses of ADHD increased by an average of just three percent each year. A 2005 report by the CDC indicated that 4.4 million children aged four to 17 were diagnosed with the disorder, and just 2.5 million of them were prescribed medication. What’s more, many medical professionals and researchers assert that girls and minorities are underdiagnosed.
  9. ADHD is limited to children: Many children who endure ADHD still battle it well into adulthood, and many adults will be diagnosed for the first time years after they’ve entered the real word. Instead of forgetting homework assignments, failing to complete in-class assignments and inefficiently studying, they may forget an appointment, produce at a slower rate than their peers, and exhibit a general lack of preparation. In many cases, the result is job instability and a lack of career fulfillment, which can affect their overall quality of life. Adults who think they may have ADHD shouldn’t hesitate to visit a doctor or mental health specialist.
  10. People with ADHD can’t succeed: The lengthy list of talented people who have ADHD includes 14-time gold medalist Michael Phelps, four-time Super Bowl champion Terry Bradshaw, Kinko’s founder Paul Orfalea, and Virgin Group founder and billionaire Richard Branson. Additionally, great innovators, thinkers and leaders from the past are said to have shown symptoms of the disorder, like Albert Einstein, Beethoven, Charles Schwab and John Lennon. Given the sheer amount of people who have overcome ADHD to achieve their dreams, it’s clear that it doesn’t have to be an impediment to success.
Contributor: Jasmine Hall

Be an educated parent, you will have safer and healthier teens.

Read more.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Teens and College: Is Your Teen Ready?

Guest Blogger, Brian Jenkins, asked me to share this fantastic post with my readers.  As many parents of seniors and juniors that are looking at colleges, this is a great intro to helping them get a head-start.

The Challenge of Preparing Kids for College

The choices made by tweens and teens in middle and high school can have major impacts on the rest of their lives. That’s why many parents begin talking with their kids about going to college when they enter sixth grade.

It is definitely a wise idea for parents to explain the importance of education to their children that. By starting the conversation early, kids will think of going to college as a given part of their futures. Parents can talk to their kids about interesting jobs that pay well and require a college education. Taking kids to visit college campuses can inspire them to attend college, and it makes college appear to be more tangible. Parents can inform their kids that students enjoy college life and it’s something to look forward to.

Think College Early, a website developed by the U.S. Department of Education, is designed to help middle school students understand the importance of preparing for college before they enter high school.

Academic Preparation
Academic preparation for college starts in middle school. Research has shown that kids who take algebra and geometry by the end of the eighth and ninth grades are much more likely to attend college that those who do not. A nation-wide sample indicates that only 26 percent of students from low-income families who did not take geometry attended college; however, 71 percent of students from low-income families who took geometry went to college.

Students who take algebra early in middle school have the opportunity to enroll in chemistry, trigonometry, and physics in high school. Parents should also encourage their teenagers to take Advanced Placement courses. Besides good grades, parents should consider continued hard work, effort, and improvement among their child’s successes.

College Students and Alcohol
Alcohol is an important topic for discussion with teenagers before they enter college. Excessive use of alcohol can be a major problem for college students. David Fassler, MD, states that “Because of the way their brains are wired, college students are more susceptible to overuse of drugs and alcohol, which can lead to extremely serious problems.” Alcohol use can affect performance in school, not to mention the more tragic consequences with which we are all too familiar.

Overly Structured Parenting
A study indicates that college-educated mothers in the United States are becoming preoccupied with preparing their kids for elite college admissions. According to University of California-San Diego economists Gary and Valerie Ramey, mothers have dramatically increased the amount of time they spend taking their kids to organized activities. Kids’ schedules are packed with arts, sports, and additional classes. Parents have to be careful not to exhaust their children with too many extra curricular activities. College bound students often don’t get enough sleep due to all the studying and extra curricular programs in which they are involved.

Some parents unwittingly add too much pressure to the lives of their teenagers. The college admissions process is increasingly competitive, however there has to be a balance between preparing for college and enjoying one’s high school years. Overly structured parenting can have a negative impact if students get burnt out.

Parents of college bound students should make sure their children take the appropriate classes, even before they enter high school. Additionally, the importance of a college education should be communicated to students at a young age. Overly structured parenting should be avoided, however, and parents should also convey to their tweens and teens that having fun is also part of attending middle school and high school.
Brian Jenkins has been writing for BrainTrack since 2008. He writes about career and education topics, including information about setting career goals.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Mix it Up Lunch Day: Teaching Tolerance and Acceptance

National Mix it Up Lunch Day is Tuesday, November 9th, is your school signed up?

Students all over the country will participate in learning about different cultures, different groups, cliques, races or ethnicity as they gather for lunch.  This challenge to social boundaries is part of the annual "Mix It Up At Lunch Day," sponsored by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The organizers hope that many of the prejudices and biases kids are brought up with will fall away when they meet new people.

Social scientists have long maintained that contact between diverse groups helps alleviate tensions and reduce prejudice. Mix It Up seeks to break down the barriers between students and improve intergroup relations so there are fewer misunderstandings that can lead to conflicts, bullying and harassment.

Many experts agree: Students thrive both socially and academically in schools that are inclusive. Yet, a look at recent headlines about bullying, cyberbullying and a lack of civility and empathy confirms that for too many students, schools are hotbeds of exclusion.  South Florida has been in the national headlines almost monthly with reports on the two teens in Broward County that were nearly bullied to death.

Both Michael Brewer and Josie Lou Ratley are no longer victims, they are survivors.  They are the voice and the example that teens, no matter how badly are beaten, can stand-up to bullies.  As Josie Ratley is struggling with her own speech due to brain damage, she is diligently working towards recovery and continues her fight on a daily basis.  Michael Brewer is recovered after being burned over two-thirds of his body, and painfully enduring months of physical therapy.

Isn't it time South Florida became one of the leaders in teaching tolerance and acceptance in our schools and communities?

Whether you are in Broward, Dade or Palm Beach County, sign your school up for National Mix it Up Lunch Day Register here. Are you outside of South Florida?  No problem, our country needs to get in the groove and learn to Mix it Up nationwide - click here to sign your school up today!

Pass this on to your local schools and teachers TODAY!  Get your Mix it Up tools here!
Customize your press release today for your school!

Sources: Connect with Kids, Teaching Tolerance

Read more.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Teen Drug Abuse: It is not JUST POT anymore

Parents in denial.  Teens and heroin, a deadly combination.

Dealers making it easier to smoke, cheaper to purchase, and more potent to be an addict faster.  Heroin is dangerous and deadly and it is a growing concern and trend today.

20/20 ABC News featured an excellent report on this topic.  The New Face of a Heroin Addict, which followed the lives of three average all-American families and their addict. (Watch segment on sidebar).
Since 2007, the number of heroin users in the U.S. has nearly doubled, and half of all first-time users are younger than 26 years old, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
This 20/20 ABC News segment should be an episode that every parent with a young teen should stop and watch.  It clearly shows that no one is immune to becoming an addict - especially a heroin addict.

Parents that belive their teen is "only smoking pot," listen to these stories - most start out that way.
As the one addict explains, she was quickly addicted after only a very short time.  She thought she was smoking hash, that ended up being heroin, which is highly addictive in comparison to hash.  So this mistake has literally created a junkie.

Look for signs of drug use:
  • Violent outbursts, disrespectful behavior
  • Poor or dropping grades
  • Unexplained weight loss or gain
  • Skin abrasions, track marks
  • Missing curfew, running away, truancy
  • Bloodshot eyes, distinct "skunky" odor on clothing and skin
  • Missing jewelry money
  • New friends
  • Depression, apathy, withdrawal
  • Reckless behavior
Do you suspect your teen is using drugs?  Don't be a parent in denial - you are only prolonging your teen getting help and you are actually enabling them to continue this deadly behavior.

When you think, not my kid, think again.  Addiction can happen to anyone - no matter what their background is or their economic status, addiction kills.

If you are concerned your teen is using drugs, be a responsible parent.  If they are under the age of 18 years-old, you can legally get them help without their consent.  Once they are 18 years-old or older, they have to be at a point they want to get help.

Residential therapy is a booming business for many desperate parents seeking help for their at-risk teens, especially when they are at their wit's end.

Take the time to do your research - visit Parents' Universal Resource Experts, Inc.  This organization helps educate and guide parents to find safe and quality schools and programs. They are a long standing member of the Better Business Bureau.

Residential therapy is usually considered after parents have exhausted all their local resources.
For those over 18 years old, Broward County offers Broward Addiction Recovery Center.

Stop making excuses and start be a proactive parent.

Read more.

Friday, October 29, 2010

New Bumper Sticker Can Save Lives:

When your teenager turns that magical age that they can receive their drivers license, most teens are celebrating as the parents start stressing.

It doesn't have to be stressful, though being a parent that is part of the terrority, if you are prepared and have taken the time to educate your teen about the driving safely, always being alert, putting the phone on silent or better yet, in the glove box, seatbelt at all times - not only for themselves, but for every passenger in the car.  In Florida it is the law - Click It or Ticket, simple as that.

A new group called, is hitting the pavement and creating an awareness and accountability to drive responsibly.  It is simply a bumper sticker that is literally saving lives.

The goal of the program: to protect teenage drivers and promote safe driving habits.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), "Drivers aged 16 to 19 years of age have the highest average annual crash and traffic violation rates of any other age group." In addition, "16-year-olds are 3 times more likely to die in a motor vehicle crash than the average of all drivers."

The GoTellMom program is designed to protect your child, while correcting & preventing bad driving habits early, helping to reduce accidents and injury to your child and others.

GoTellMom also covers Florida.  If you click on their Report a Driving Incident, Florida is listed among all the United States.

In a recent press release by Go TellMom:

With the program, parents register online and receive a "How's My Teen's Driving?" bumper sticker with a unique privacy protected identification number. If a fellow driver or witness observes unsafe driving habits by the teen, they can call or visit to report the incident using the 4 digit code on the bumper sticker. will then send a detailed email report notifying the parents.

Studies show that commercial vehicles utilizing "How's My Driving" stickers reported a20% decrease in accidents and traffic violations.
By placing the sticker on a teen's car, parents have taken a proactive step towards preventing bad driving habits, ultimately keeping their teens safe.

Whether it is speeding, texting while driving, a taillight out or just careless teen driving - the community can call or report to, and the teen's parent will instantly be notified. If teen drivers know that the community is watching and at any time a report can be made, then safe driving will become a priority.

Launched in 2010, is a proactive way for parents and the community to monitor teen drivers and moreover help correct bad driving habits early. For more information, please visit

Monday, October 25, 2010

Six Tips for a Healthy and Safe Holiday Season with Your Family

Seriously, holiday season?

Yes, the holiday season is upon us and before you know it, or actually it is a reality, there are Christmas decorations in stores already - and your kids haven't even unwrapped one piece of Halloween candy yet!
It is never too early to discuss safety and health when it comes to your family.  Living healthy all year round should be a priority, but we all will let things slide at the holidays, it is just part of reality.  (Maybe there are a few of you that are good all year round, congrats to you!)  Especially for parents, it can be extremely difficult to get our teens eat healthy as well as learn the importance of being an offensive driver.

Many recognize that during the holidays there will be in increase in drunk driving accidents and deaths from these accidents.  Whether you are 16 years-old or 60 years-old - drive safelyPut those cell phones away.
Here are six basic reminders for healthy living, especially during the holidays:
  1. Wash your hands often.  There's lots of food being exchanged during the holidays.  Keeping your hands clean is one of the most important (and easy) steps you can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others.  Wash your hands vigorously with soap and water, or use an alcohol based hand sanitizer.
  2. Get checkups and vaccinations. Don't let the holidays get in the way of important exams and screenings. If young children are scheduled to receive routine vaccinations, stay on schedule and don't put these off until after the holidays. Talk to your doctor about flu shots for you and your family.
  3. Manage stress. Remember, it's the holidays, and they are supposed to be fun. Keep a check on over-committing yourself. Plan quality time just for you and your family. Try to avoid overspending, which can cause unneeded stress during and after the festivities. Need help? Don't be afraid to ask others to pitch in!
  4. Eat healthy and be active. With balance and moderation, you can enjoy the holidays the healthy way. Choose fresh fruit as a festive and sweet substitute for candy. Select just one or two of your favorites from the host of tempting and not-so-healthy foods. Find fun ways to stay active, such as dancing to your favorite holiday music.
  5. Travel safely. Don't drink and drive, and be sure to keep a watchful eye on guests to ensure they're not driving after drinking.  If you are out and have had too much to drink, call 1-800-AAA-HELP and AAA's Tow-to-Go service will provide you a free tow and ride home. (Nov. 24-Jan. 2)
  6. Handle and prepare food safely. Avoid food-related illness by washing hands and work surfaces often. Avoid cross-contamination by keeping raw meat, poultry, seafood and eggs away from ready-to-eat foods and eating surfaces. Cook foods to the proper temperature and refrigerate promptly.
Source: Going Places AAA
In Broward County, AAA has a location in Pembroke Pines.  You can get your holiday attraction tickets and membership information there.  Especially if you have a teen driver in the house, getting them an AAA Membership is an excellent gift (probably more for you, but it is worth the sense of relief when they break down and need a tow).  A tow alone can sometimes cost up to $400.00.  With AAA, you get three free tows a year and much more.  Look into it today!

On a personal note, thankfully my son had his AAA card last weekend - when he lost his car keys!  Between the locksmith and the tow, it didn't cost me anything (thanks to our AAA Membership).

Be an educated parent, you will have safer and healthier teens!

Read more.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Ten Tips for Teen Drivers and their Parents

The day has come, one that many parents dread, and teens celebrate - getting their driver's license.  Prior this day, it is a parents responsibility to educate their teen on the major responsibility that comes with driving a vehicle.  It is not just about their life, it is the lives of thousands of people on the road.

Preparing for this day should be a priority.  Reading educational books, watching video's and taking driving classes can all be part of getting ready to turn that key.

In 2009, 153 teens died in traffic crashes, according to Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) statistics. Teenagers who are 15 to 19 years old have the highest crash rates, and teens are twice as likely to crash as their parents, according to the FHP. offers 10 tips to help protect your teen driver from an accident.

1. Practice, practice, practice. During the first 500 miles of driving, teen drivers are 10 times more likely to be in auto crashes than any other age group. Driving requires mental and physical skills that can only be honed with time on the road. That's why it's essential for teen drivers to get professional training and why more states are issuing graduated licenses that require teens to drive with their parents for an extended length of time before being eligible to drive on their own.
2. Create a safe driving contract. Parents should consider creating a safe-driving contract with new drivers to build safe driving habits. Have clear, consistent consequences when your teens do something inappropriate while driving so they understand their boundaries as drivers. The focus of such a contract should be on removing distractions, such as cell phones or eating in the car, which may divert a teen driver's attention from the road, and keeping teen drivers off the roads at particularly risky times of the day (after 10 p.m. and before 6 a.m.).
3. No cell phones. Texting while driving is banned in 26 states and D.C., and an additional eight states prohibit text messaging by minor drivers, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association. Six states prohibit all drivers from using handheld phones while driving. Make sure you and your teen driver are familiar with your state's laws on mobile devices and driving.
4. Seatbelts. Fifty-five percent of teens killed in automobile accidents in 2008 were not wearing seatbelts, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Wearing a seatbelt is not only a good idea, in a growing number of states, it's the law - 31 states have primary seat belt laws and 18 have secondary laws, according to
5. Passenger restriction. Parents should try to limit the number of passengers in their teen's car, especially those younger than 18. Some states even have laws that do not allow minor passengers to be in the vehicle for the first six months after a new teen driver receives his or her license.
6. Curfew. Teens can be more distracted at night. A study done by NHTSA finds that nighttime, especially after 10 p.m., is one of the riskiest times of the day to drive for teens. Check state and local city laws regarding curfews as some states impose curfews on teen driving.
7. No drinking and driving. On average, a drunk driver kills someone every 45 minutes, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). Help your teen find other solutions to drinking and driving, especially responding to peer pressure to drink. Lead by example and show your kids it's never okay to drink and drive.
8. Make sure your teen gets sleep. According to the National Sleep Foundation, most teens need at least nine hours of sleep. Sleep deprived teens can drive like someone who is impaired by a blood alcohol content of .08 percent. Don't let your teen drive if they are feeling drowsy. Offer to drive them or let them sleep more before driving. Drowsy driving causes more than 100,000 car crashes each year.
9. Train teens for poor weather conditions.
Your teen will never know what challenges he will face on the road. Make sure he is able to handle snow, wind, and rain. Ride along with her during a storm before she has to face this challenge alone.
10. Make an accident kit. You never know what tools you will need after an accident, and it's better to always be prepared. Some ideas for your accident kit: a disposable camera, flashlight, glowstick, pen and personal info sheet to list all of your insurance information and personal details. You may also include info cards and witness cards to collect license plate numbers, insurance details, and other information from all cars, drivers and witnesses involved in an accident.

To learn about the law and for more information about a parent's liability with their teen drivers, visit
Be an educated parent, you will have safer teens.

Read more.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Common Ways Your ID Can Be Stolen: Talk to your Teens Today

How many people and especially teens don't believe that bad things can happen to them?  You hear about robberies, car accidents, even other people who get STD's, but all this bad stuff - it won't happen to you. Many teenagers believe they are immune to these sorts of terrible things in life.  However the truth is - bad things can happen to good people.

Well, identity theft is a horrible situation, not as deadly as an auto accident, but emotionally and financially can be devastating.

Starting Sunday October 17th - 23rd is the 3rd Annual Protect Your Identity Week and hopefully you will take the time to secure your private information.

Knowing how these thieves can steal your identity can help you to use precautions.
According to Federal Trade Commission, here are some common methods that thieves use:
  1. Dumpster Diving. They rummage through trash looking for bills or other paper with your personal information on it.
  2. Skimming. They steal credit/debit card numbers by using a special storage device when processing your card.
  3. Phishing. They pretend to be financial institutions or companies and send spam or pop-up messages to get you to reveal your personal information.
  4. Hacking. They hack into databases or steal business records to get customer PII.
  5. "Old-Fashioned" Stealing. They steal wallets and purses; mail, including bank and credit card statements; pre-approved credit offers; and new checks or tax information. They steal personnel records from their employers, or bribe employees who have access.
Learn more at Protect Your Identity Now.

Read more.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Share with care: Teach your teens about privacy online

It is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM).  Most teens and even children are more sophisticated online than their parents.  That means parents need to take the time to catch up!

Parenting usually includes teaching our children to share.  However when it comes to cyberspace, we need to understand that sharing is not always the best policy. (Watch video).

What you post online could have an impact on people in the real world.

As you know, the Internet offers students a wealth of opportunities to communicate, socialize and explore the world.  But these benefits come with risks.  Problems like cyberbullying, sexting and over-sharing on social networking sites affect students, schools and communities across the country.

OnGuard Online, Stop - Think - Click is a program designed and provided by The Federal Trade Commision (FTC) to help keep our teens and children safe in space.  The are offering free booklets and a toolkit to help you become a better informed parent, teacher and person when it comes to online safety.

The toolkit materials are free and in the public domain.  They encourage teachers, parents and others who care for kids to use this resource during a classroom presentation, community gathering or PTA meeting, and to spread the word by using the information in a newsletter or on your website, ordering free copies of Net Cetera and Heads Up for your neighborhood school from, or sharing the toolkit with colleagues and community leaders.

During NCSAM, and all year round, learn as much as you can about cybersafety and cybersecurity.

Be an educated parent, you will have safer teens.

Read more.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Teen Relationships: Is your teen in a healthy relationship?

School is open and in full swing.  Many relationships are forming, some are going to be best friends forever and some are not.

Relationships are an essential part of life; without them, we would all wither and die of loneliness. However, there are times when relationships are the cause of immense suffering – when they’re abusive, one-sided or unhealthy, they tend to take more out of you than they give in return. It’s hard enough for adults to tackle relationships maturely, so when you know your teenager is interested in the opposite sex and has started to date, it’s only natural that your parental and protective instincts soar high. As long as your child is happy and cheerful for the most part, you don’t worry – you’re the indulgent parent watching your child grow into an adult. But when you sense that something is not right, when your gut feel tells you that the relationship your child is in is not healthy, you must do something to prevent them from getting into trouble or getting hurt.
  • Some teens get into relationships that are abusive – their partner is physically violent or verbally abusive. If you see your child with bruises and cuts that they cannot explain properly or if you notice them crying or upset after a phone call or a text message or when they’re back from a date, it’s time to probe for more information and help them out.
  • If your teen is a relationship that is proving to be distractive and detrimental to everything else in their life, you must do something to make them see sense. You don’t want your child to end up being a parent before they’ve gone to college and seen something of life, so even if you end up being labeled the villain, you must talk to them and make them understand that marriage straight out of high school is not an option even if they’ve found the love of their lives. It will be hard to make them understand your point of view, but you must try your best because you love your child and want the best for them.
  • In worst case scenarios, your teen could also be involved with a much older person who could be married too – it’s not unheard of for girls to be swayed by the attention of older men who shower them with gifts and take advantage of them or for boys to get seduced by older women. If your child is hiding their significant other from you and acting weirdly, it’s time to get to the bottom of things. I don’t mean that you must pry into their lives, just that you must be careful to ensure that they don’t get trapped by older adults who take advantage of their gullibility.
Talking to your teen is not the easiest of things to do because they tend to guard their privacy fiercely and will resent you “butting in”. However, you must persist because your child’s emotional wellbeing is at stake. Be understanding yet firm in your desire to help; continue to offer to talk and be there for them when the dam breaks and they finally feel they’ve had enough. Don’t despair that your child has undergone a bad experience – they come out better because of it and avoid making the same mistake again.

Source and contributed by: Rachel Davis 

Women in Distress in Broward County for Teens offers a hotline, resources and valuable information for both parents and teens.

Be and educated parent, you will have safer teens.

Read more.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Bullying Prevention Resources: The Trevor Project and more

Many celebrities are known by one name.  Whether it is Cher, Madonna or Ellen - we know exactly who they are and what they do.  They are recognizable.

Ellen, who makes people laugh everyday on her television talk show, is using her voice and her celebrity to help spread the word about bullying prevention.  There is nothing funny about bullying and she is dedicated to helping those that are being harassed, teased and viciously attacked.

Her website recently launched a resource page for bullying prevention.

Unfortunately, South Florida is no stranger to bullying and school violence.

The following organizations listed on Ellen's website are all devoted to ending bullying. You can learn more at their websites about the resources each organization provides.
  • The Trevor Project runs the Trevor Lifeline, a 24-hour, national crisis and suicide prevention lifeline for gay and questioning teens. The number is 1-866-4-U-Trevor. You can learn more about The Trevor Project and the other great program they have at their website:
  • The National Center for Bullying Prevention is helping to promote awareness and teach effective ways to respond to bullying. You can learn more about them at:
  • STOMP Out Bullying is focused on reducing bullying and cyberbullying. Find out more on their website:
  • The Matthew Shepard Foundation runs Matthew's Place, an online community and resource center for LGBTQ youth. The website is:
  • GLSEN is also a great organization that is working to eradicate bullying and bias in schools. Their website is:
  • The Human Rights Campaign's Welcoming Schools Guide is an approach to addressing family diversity, gender stereotyping, and name-calling in K-5th grades. The guide helps administrators, educators, and parents or caring adults make sure that their elementary schools welcome all students and families. You can learn more at
  • PFLAG and GLSEN have partnered with the Department of Civil Rights to create the Claim Your Rights program, to help everyone understand that they have the right to safer schools. This resource helps students, parents and teachers report incidences of bullying, particularly when schools deny that bullying exists. You can find out more about this vital resource at:
Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) has several chapters located in Broward County.  For the one nearest your, click here.
Be an educated parent, and remember, teach tolerance and lead by example!  Your kids are watching!

Watch video and read more.

Saturday, October 2, 2010


Let South Florida be a wave of BLUE SHIRTS on October 4th.  After making national headlines for having some of the most horrific bullying attacks, (Michael Brewer, doused in alcohol and set on fire by bullies and Josie Ratley nearly beaten to death by another teen), it is time to take back South Florida in a positive direction.

October 3rd thru the 9th is National Bullying Prevention Awareness Week and STOMP Out Bullying is asking everyone to make October 4th the day that bullying and cyberbullying prevention is heard around the world by wearing a BLUE SHIRT in solidarity to STOMP Out Bullying™!

Whether you are in Broward, Dade or Palm Beach County, get your schools, neighborhoods and communities involved!  Let our country and the world know we are not taking it anymore.

Since 1999, Love Our Children USA™ has been the national nonprofit leader in fighting all forms of violence against children. STOMP Out Bullying™ is a signature program of our organization.

Florida has made the news again recently.  James Jones defended his disabled daughter after she was taunted and bullied on a public school bus, as another Florida mother, April Newcomb, encouraged her daughter to fight!  The video says it all and it is appalling.

The father, James Jones, quickly recognized his wrong doing, and apologized to the the kids on the bus while April Newcomb was arrested and now being charged with child abuse.

Isn't it time Florida is seen on national television in a positive light?  Get your BLUE SHIRTS today and on Saturday, October 4th, let your voice be heard!

Here are more ways you can help STOMP Out Bullying:
  • Visit their website and Click the “Click Me” box and join the almost 100,000 who have made a commitment to STOMP Out Bullying™
  • Make October 4th the day that bullying and cyberbullying prevention is heard around the world by wearing a BLUE SHIRT in solidarity to STOMP Out Bullying™! You can order BLUE SHIRTS from STOMP Out Bullying™ or wear your own!
  • Raise awareness and educate on the issue of bullying and its effects
  • Educators can invite students to join in an open discussion on how to STOMP Out Bullying™
  • Spread the word and spur others to take action via Facebook, Twitter STOMP Out Bullying, Twitter Love Our Children USA, Blog it, Text it, E-mail it
  • Sign the petition which tells President Obama and Congress that we must STOMP Out Bullying™
  • Create events to raise awareness of the issue
  • Tell us why it’s important to you to STOMP Out Bullying™ on their web site
  • Create art, dance, music and theater projects about why and how we can STOMP Out Bullying™
  • Plan a STOMP Out Bullying™ walk and raise awareness
  • Create posters to STOMP Out Bullying™
  • Create your own way to STOMP Out Bullying™ in your community
Watch video and learn more! Read more.