Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Teen Runaways: Tips Parents Need to Know

If you are currently dealing with a runaway, act immediately. Do not waste any time in utilizing every resource you can to find your child.

The list below details a plan of action and tips for finding help.

Tips For Finding a Runaway

  • Keep an updated phone list with the home and cell numbers of your teen’s friends. Using the phone list, call every one of your teen’s friends. Talk immediately with their parents, not their friends, as teenagers will often stick together and lie for each other. The parent will tell you anything they know, including the last time contact was made between their child and yours. They will also know to keep closer tabs on their own child.
  • Keep an updated photo of your child on hands at all times. With this photo, create one-page flyers including all information about your teen and where they were last seen. Post these flyers everywhere your teen hangs out, as well as anywhere else teenagers in general hang out. Post anywhere they will allow you to.
  • Immediately contact your local police. It is advised that you actually visit the office with a copy of the flyer as well as a good number of color photos of your teen. Speak clearly and act rationally, but make sure that they understand how serious the situation is.
  • Contact the local paper in order to run a missing ad. Also, contact any other printed media available in your area; many will be very willing to help.
  • Contact your local television stations, as well as those in nearby counties. Most stations will be more than happy to run an alert either in the newscast or through the scrolling alert at the bottom of the screen.
  • Contact the Runaway Hotline:  1-800-RUNAWAY 1-800-786-2929.
Having a teen runaway is very frightening and it can bring you to your “Wits End”. Remain positive and be creative: try to understand why your teen is acting this way, what they are running from and where they might be running. These are times when parents need to seek help for themselves. Don’t be ashamed to reach out to others. We are all about parents helping parents. Please visit Sue Scheff™’s Parents Universal Resource Experts™ to find support and professional help with your runaway situation.

Learn more.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Facebook Status and Your Teen: Know What they Mean

Is your teen acting withdrawn?  Secretive? Shutting down their screen as you walk by? Losing weight? Gaining weight? Changing friends?  Recent boyfriend break-up? Depressed?

Especially at the holidays, teenagers can feel blue just like some adults.  Know how your kids are feeling.

What are their Facebook status saying?

“Forgive me.”
“When will this end?”
“I hate my life”

RED FLAGS and parenting.  Know them!

Facebook is the social hangout of the internet for all ages, but it is particularly true of teenagers.

Teenagers often are much more open about what they are thinking and feeling in this cyber environment than most older adults. Since teens experience many emotional ups and downs, it can be easy to dismiss most of their dramatic postings as nothing more than normal teenage drama. However, there have been too many instances in recent years when parents had wished they’d paid more attention to what their teenager had posted as their ‘current status’.

Here a few status updates parents should watch for and investigate further.
  1. I can’t take it anymore. Although, this could mean anything from homework overload to sibling irritation, it could also be a cry for help from a teen who is truly overwhelmed with life in someway. It is not a status update that you want to ignore. Parents should take the initiative and find out what prompted this entry.
  2. Text me. This may seem innocent enough, but, for some parents, it may be a signal that their teen may be trying to keep something hidden that needs to be in the open. Privacy and protection are always a fine line to walk with teenagers. Parents, however, should never hesitate to ask about the reason behind such a post.
  3. Really loaded right now. If your teen is high enough to make this post on Facebook without thinking about the fact that their parents might see it, there is drug or alcohol abuse going on. Ignoring these types of problems does not make them go away.
  4. Depressing song lyrics. Song lyrics are popular posts from teens. It may be what they’re listening to at the moment or a song that is running through their head. If the lyrics of the songs are continually negative and depressing, this could be an indication of the teen’s emotional state, as well.
  5. No one understands. This is a common feeling during teenage years, but it is also one that can develop into a true depressive state. Seeing this posted as your teen’s Facebook status should raise enough concern for their parents to pursue the reasons behind the posting.
  6. I hate my life. Again, this is not an unusual statement to come from a teen at different points in their adolescence, however, posting it as your Facebook status is similar to shouting it from the rooftops. It is always better to treat these statements seriously, than to ignore them as a simple impulse statement.
  7. Forgive me, Mom & Dad. This kind of post would be one that should require immediate connection with your child. If it doesn’t mention what they are asking forgiveness for, it may be a subtle plea for you to stop them from doing something terrible. Take this very seriously!
  8. You’re all going to die. In light of the terrible things we have seen happen in our schools, a teen who posts something like this should not be ignored. “I was just joking” is not an acceptable explanation for this type of post. A teen who posts such a statement publicly should expect inquiry from, not only his parents, but school and law enforcement as well.
  9. I wish I were dead. Never assume these statements are words only. Any type of suicidal expression like this should be taken very seriously. Many parents have had the misfortune of finding out that even a verbal statement can be an indication of suicidal thoughts. A public posting of that thought should be taken just as seriously.
  10. I hate my school. The key word in this status update is ‘my’. It doesn’t say ‘I hate school’, it is more specific than that. It would behoove the parents to find out what it is, about the child’s school, that made them post this statement, and what can be done to improve the situation.
Facebook status updates reach a lot of people, a parent of a teenager should definitely be one of those people who pays attention to what their child is broadcasting into cyberspace. It may be their way of trying to find out if anyone is really paying attention, and if anyone really cares.

Source: My ISP Finder

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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Teens and Phones: How did they survive without cell phones?

How many parents have seen their kids go crazy looking for their cell phone?
How many parents are paying for cell phone services for their kids or teens?
How many parents try to limit their teen's cell phone time?
How many parents are finally learning to text to communicate with their teenager?

Just another example of how parenting has become more challenging than generations prior. Exactly what did we do when there weren't any cell phones?

Sometimes, it appears that cell phones have become a required accessory attached to every kid and teenager that you see in public. You see them being used for calls, text messaging, music listening, and game playing, virtually everywhere that kids are found.So, how did kids survive without cell phones in the 80′s?

10 ways kids survived without cell phones:
  1. Notes in Class. Kids in the 1980s may have been one of the last generations to have to rely on passing notes to communicate with each other during class.
  2. Pay Phones. Though they are rarely seen in public places today, coin operated pay phones were available on virtually every street corner and in most public buildings. If a kid needed a ride, or otherwise wanted to make a phone call while out and about, it was going to cost them a quarter.
  3. Home Computers. When personal computers first began to be common in homes, kids were some of the first to begin finding new ways to use them for fun. There were few games available for early home computers, but they were perfect tools for role-playing games such as Dungeons & Dragons, which were extremely popular with the young people of that era.
  4. Video Game Arcades. In the 1980s, video game arcades became widespread, and functioned as gathering places for kids and teenagers. Games such as Pac-Man and Space Invaders kept kids feeding quarters into the machines.
  5. Walkman. The Sony Walkman was introduced in 1979, and it changed the way people, especially kids and teenagers, listened to music. By the early 1980s, young people wearing lightweight headphones and bobbing their heads to music had become a common sight in public places. Kids could have their music with them at all times, without annoying people around them.
  6. MTV. In the early 1980s, MTV debuted, and kids everywhere gathered in front of the television to watch and listen to music videos. MTV literally changed the way the music business operated, as videos became a required part of virtually every new music release.
  7. Game Consoles. Atari, Sega, and Nintendo became household names in the 1980s, and the first stores devoted completely to electronic game cartridges and accessories began to appear. During this period, many homes began to have at least one television that was devoted completely to video games.
  8. Game Watches. It may sound a bit hokey to today’s kids, but the introduction of Game Watches by Nelsonic Industries was a huge step in the evolution of gaming. Game watch combined a timepiece with an electronic game, was worn on a wrist like a watch, and could be played anywhere.
  9. Game and Watch. The Game and Watch from Nintendo was a handheld device that, like the Game Watch above, combined a timepiece and a video game. The early versions were made to play only one game, but later versions allowed the user to play various games on one unit.
  10. Teen lines. Many homes in the 80′s had more than one phone line for their land line phone. Often times, the second line was referred to as the ‘teen’ line. If they wanted to call their friends, they used the their land line at home to call their friend on their friend’s home phone.
It may be hard for young people today to imagine, but life in the 1980s without cell phones was not only survivable, it was an exciting time of innovation, and many of the applications that kids use on their cell phones today were born during that decade.
Source: Landline Phone Service

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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Education in the 21st Century

Education in the 21st Century
Source: In today's dynamic classrooms, the teaching and learning process is becoming more nuanced, more seamless, and it flows back and forth from students to teachers.