Sunday, March 30, 2008

Sue Scheff: Understanding Teen Runaways

Knowing the Difference: Runaway, Missing or Sneaking?

When a teen turns up "missing," parents must initially decide whether the child is missing, has run away, or simply sneaked out.

There are differences, and those differences are very important. A missing child could have been abducted by someone against his/her will and is being held, possibly threatened. A missing child can also be a child who is simply missing; the child did not return home when expected and may be lost or injured.

Runaway teens and sneaking teens are often confused, as both leave a supervised environment of their own free will. Sneaking teens leave home for a short period of time, with intent to return, most likely during the night or while a parent can be fooled. A runaway teen leaves home or a supervised environment for good, with intent to live separate from his/her parents. Runaway teens will likely have shown symptoms prior to running away.

In most cases, a teen runs away after a frustrating and heated argument with one or both parents. Often times, the runaway will stay with a friend or relative close by to cool off. In more serious cases, a teen may run away often and leave with no notion of where they are going.

Warning Signs your Teen May Become a Runaway

Attempts to communicate with your teen have only resulted in ongoing arguments, yelling, interruptions, hurtful name- calling, bruised feelings and failure to come to an agreement or compromise.

Your teen has become involved in a network of friends or peers who seem often unsupervised, rebellious, defiant, involved with drugs or alcohol or who practice other alarming social behavior.
A noticeable pattern of irrational, impulsive and emotionally abusive behavior by either parent or teen.

The Grass Looks Greener on the Other Side

Often, we hear our teens use "My friend's parents let her do it!" or, "Everything is better at my friend's house!" The parents of your teen's friends may be more lenient, choose later curfew times, allow co-ed events or give higher allowances. While you as parent know all parents work differently, it can be very difficult for your teen to understand.

Motivations of a Runaway

To avoid an emotional experience or consequence that they are expecting as a result of a parental, sibling, friend or romantic relationship/situation.

To escape a recurring or ongoing painful or difficult experience in their home, school or work life.
To keep from losing privileges to activities, relationships, friendships or any other things considered important or worthwhile.

To be with other people such as friends or relatives who are supportive, encouraging and active in ways they feel are missing from their lives.

To find companionship or activity in places that distract them from other problems they are dealing with.

To change or stop what they are doing or about to do.

As parents or guardians we strive to create positive, loving households in order to raise respectful, successful and happy adults. In order to achieve this, rules must be put in place. Teens who run away from home are often crying for attention. Some teens will attempt to run away just once, after an unusually heated argument or situation in the household, and return shortly after. More serious cases, however, happen with teens in extreme emotional turmoil.

Parents also need to be extremely aware of the symptoms, warning signs and dangers of teenage depression. Far too many teens are suffering from this disease and going untreated. Often, runaways feel they have no other choice but to leave their home, and this is in many cases related to their feelings of sadness, anger and frustration due to depression.

Teenage Depression

There are many causes of depression, and every child, regardless of social status, race, age or gender is at risk. Be aware and be understanding. To an adult juggling family and career, it may seem that a young teenager has nothing to be "depressed" about! Work for a mutual communication between the two of you. The more your teenager can confide his/her daily problems and concerns, the more you can have a positive and helpful interaction before the problems overwhelm them.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Sue Scheff: Rebellious, Defiant, Difficult Teens

You see them everywhere you go – rebellious teenagers whose attitudes, language and behaviors are disrespectful and inappropriate. Is it an unavoidable part of growing up or a more serious sign of a truly angry kid?More than 80 percent of teachers surveyed said students today are, in fact, more disrespectful than ever before – talking back, cheating, bullying, cursing. Is this the most uncivil generation in history? And if so, are they learning it from adults, the media, our fast-paced culture? Where do we draw the line when it comes to rebellious teenagers?

Personal Insights on what drives an angry kid

In Civil Wars, you’ll hear from rebellious teenagers whose bad behavior had them on the verge of getting kicked out of school… and how they turned their lives around. You’ll see entire schools that have eliminated bullying and violence and learn why they believe having well-mannered, civil kids is so important.

This is not a subject kids like to talk about with adults, but once they hear each angry kid in Civil Wars tell their stories, they’ll open up so that the entire family comes away with a whole new perspective.

Order now to get your own insights into the lives of rebellious teenagers. You'll learn how to deal with an angry kid.


Thursday, March 20, 2008

Parents Universal Resource Experts (Sue Scheff) Teen Runaway Statistics

Taking Action: Get Educated Scary Statistics

21% of runaways are victims of domestic physical or sexual abuse at home prior to running away, or are afraid a return home would result in abuse.

19% of runaways are/were dependant on at least one substance.

18% of runaways are 13 years or older.

18% of runaways end up in the company of someone known to be abusing drugs.

17% of runaways end up using hard drugs.

12% of runaways spend time in a place where criminal activity is known to occur.

11% of teens participate in criminal activity while on the run.

4% of runaway teens have attempted suicide previous to running away.

4% of runaways are physically assaulted or the subject of an attempted assault while on the run.

The Power of Knowledge: Work to Be a Better Parent
Even the best parents can use skill training. Continue to improve your skills both as a communicator and a parent, as well as the problems facing teenagers today. Join your family through problem-solving skills to avoid conflict.

Evaluate yourself. Do your bad habits seem to rub off on your teen? Get healthy!
Develop a crisis intervention plan for your teen if the situation causing thoughts of running away involves a crisis or recurrent crisis.

Consider seeking professional help for your teen if he/she seems out of control, including self-harm, suicidal thoughts, or violent behavior. Emotional problems associated with anger, sadness or despair are very serious and should be dealt with accordingly.

Evaluate any use of alcohol or drugs by your teen immediately. Seek professional help if you think he/she may have an addiction problem.

Consider attending classes or educational workshops yourself to improve on your parenting skills. Even the very best parents can use support! Your city may offer training in communication and interpersonal skills that can offer help for dealing with divorce, anger, violent behavior, and conflict resolution.

Develop a plan throughout the family for conducting argumentative communication calmly and respectfully. Doing so will promote communication rather than argument.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Sue Scheff: Teen Rage, Teen Anger, Teen Violence - Is your teen in crisis?

"I don't care what you say I am doing what I want to do! I hate you and you just don't want me to have fun!" "All my friends are allowed to stay out late; you are mean and want to ruin my life!" "You have no idea how I feel and you are only making it worse!" When a difficult teen is out of control, they only can hear themselves and what they want. It is usually their way or no way!

There are so many factors that can contribute to these feelings. The feelings are very real and should be addressed as soon as you see that your child is starting to run the household. Teen Anger may lead to Teen Rage and Teen Violence which can soon destroy a family.Again, local therapist* can help your family diagnosis what is causing the negative behavior patterns.

Conduct Disorder is one of the many causes to harmful behavior.

Many times you will find a need for a positive and safe program to help the teen realize where these hurtful outbursts are stemming from. Parents tell us constantly, they are looking for a "Boot Camp" to achieve their mission to make their child "pay" for the pain they are putting the family through. In some cases this can create a Violent Teen.

We feel that when you place a negative child into a negative atmosphere, most children only gain resentment and more anger. There are some cases that it has been effective; however we do not refer to any Boot Camps. We believe in a Positive Peer Culture for teen help to build your child back up from the helplessness they feel.

Do you have a struggling teen? At risk teens? Defiant Teen? Teen Depression? Problem Teen? Difficult Teen? Teen Rage? Teen Anger? Teen Drug Use? Teen Gangs? Teen Runaways? Bipolar? ADD/ADHD? Disrespectful Teen? Out of Control Teen? Peer Pressure? Teen Violence? Need Teen Help?

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Sue Scheff: At Risk Teens

by Connect with Kids

The Risk Within

Today, the number-one killer of adolescents is not disease or illness; it is accidental injury, often caused by risky behavior. Kids’ lives depend on the choices they make - choices to drink and drive, to take drugs, to have unprotected sex - or to say no.
Of course, not all risks are harmful, and in fact, taking some risks - trying out for a sports team or the school play, asking someone out, learning a new skill - is a valuable part of growing up. What can you do to help children make smart choices? How can you prevent them from hurting themselves or others?

Kids don’t always listen to adult warnings about the consequences of risky behaviors... but they will listen to the kids in The Risk Within- kids they can relate to... stories they can learn from and talk about with parents and teachers.

This Connect with Kids has been awarded the Parents’ Choice Award. Programs are used in homes and schools across the country, recommended by teachers, Safe and Drug Free Counselors, health counselors and other educators.


Do you have a struggling teen? At risk teens? Defiant Teen? Teen Depression? Problem Teen? Difficult Teen? Teen Rage? Teen Anger? Teen Drug Use? Teen Gangs? Teen Runaways? Bipolar? ADD/ADHD? Disrespectful Teen? Out of Control Teen? Peer Pressure?

Find about more about Boarding Schools, Military Schools, Christian Boarding Schools, Residential Treatment Centers, and Therapeutic Boarding Schools.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Sue Scheff: Coping with Bullies

Invisible Weapon - by Connect with Kids

Adults may think children bullies are just a part of growing up, but what if it was your kids saying things like this about bullying at school:

"I had nowhere to go, no one to tell. I thought I was fat and stupid and no one wanted be around me.” - Sarah

“They called me four-eyes, homo…until I started to believe it.” - Alex

“I was scared all the time to go to school.” - Jay

Invisible Weapons is a moving half-hour video that’s ideal for parents and children to watch and learn together. Painful, true stories show how kids are taunted and teased by children bullies, harassed and excluded, and how bullying at school made them victims of nasty rumors and gossip.

It’s More Than Just Bullying at School

Bullies and “mean girls” leave wounds that often go deeper than broken bones and bloody noses. You’ll hear from victims as they tell how bullying at school affected their grades, their self-confidence and their relationships. Listen as children bullies themselves share their stories and regrets. “Maybe I thought making fun of Sarah was cool,” says Ashley, “or that it would make me have more friends.”

There are ways to stop this kind of emotional pain. Hear what experts have to say by ordering Invisible Weapons to learn what you can do about children bullies.