Saturday, May 31, 2008

Parents Universal Resource Experts (Sue Scheff) Is Your Teens In Trouble?

Is Your Child in Trouble?

This article from the American Chronicle by Genae-Valecia Hinesman lists and details several signs that parents should watch out for, as they may indicate problems in your child's life. Many of these signals are also applicable for inhalant abuse, but this is a great article to read for any parent.

1. Erratic Behavior

"As young people carve out their own individuality separate from that of their parents´, and seek an answer to the proverbial question, "Who AM I?" they could clash more frequently with those around them. They may be happy one minute and sullen the next. Even this is normal. However, if your child starts reacting violently, either at home or at school, clearly something is seriously wrong."

2. Loss of Coordination, Glazed Eyes, Slurred Speech

"Without question, only two things can explain these symptoms. The first is that the person in question has suffered a stroke or a seizure. The second is that this person is inebriated. Both situations require immediate action. If your child is intoxicated, your first duty is to keep them from leaving the house until sober, for their own safety and the safety of others.

Once they are coherent, find out what they were taking and where they obtained it. If they were found unconscious, and taken to a hospital, medical testing will be able to provide a toxicology report. Encourage them to seek help, if addicted, and at least undergo counseling to learn how to avoid future dependency. Help in any way you can, but let them know that they must want to help themselves, in order to successfully change for the better."

3. Persistant Sadness and Withdrawel from Others

"Any child showing these signs for more than two weeks without interruption is clearly depressed. A change in eating habits and/or grooming has probably also been noticed. If so, something, or a combination of things, has triggered these changes. Your job is to find out what."

4. Honor Student to Dropout

"If your consistently top-notch student suddenly loses interest in school with grades in two or more classes plummeting, take heed! Straight A´s simply don´t turn into D´s overnight. Sit down with him or her and find out what´s happening in your child´s life.

Whatever it happens to be, let him or her know that you´re willing not only to help, but to listen as well. Refuse to accept "Leave me alone!" or "Nothing!" as acceptable answers. If they won´t talk to you, find another trusted adult with whom they will talk. Seek professional help if they need it."

5. Drastic Social Changes

"Friends and companions can and sometimes should, change a bit by the time your child leaves high school. Nevertheless, if your child´s associates suddenly are vastly different in negative ways from those they used to spend time with, this is usually a very bad sign. It´s even more telling if they now avoid or shun their old friends for no readily apparent reason."

6. Finding Unusual Possessions

"Discovering drugs, whether prescription, over-the-counter, or illegal narcotics that you had no idea that your child was using calls for immediate address. The same can be said for condoms, birth control devices, cigarettes, alcohol, and drug paraphernalia of any kind.

Recently, even glue, industrial products, and cleaning supplies have been used as inhalants (known among teens as "huffing") by kids seeking to get "high"-- often with fatal results. Finding these in your child´s room, pockets, or belongings is just as serious as finding a weapon. More than a red flag, this is a screaming siren!"

7. Legal Troubles

"Finally, if your child has been arrested at least once, this is clear indication that the situation is rapidly careening beyond the scope of your reach. By the time law enforcement becomes involved two or more times, your child has become society´s problem and the courts will soon decide his or her future.

Repeated run-ins with legal authorities can never be overlooked as "just a phase". There may still be hope, but only if drastic measures are taken and your child still cares enough to save himself or herself. Only so many chances are given to legal offenders. Don´t let time run out. Intervene while you still can."

These are all excellent points and can be of help to parents who ask, "is my kid abusing inhalants?" The warning signs are often subtle, but they are there.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Sue Scheff: Behavior Therapy for Children of ADHD

By ADDitude Magazine

Seven parenting strategies guaranteed to improve the behavior of your child with attention deficit disorder (ADD ADHD).

The fundamentals of behavior therapy are easy to understand and implement, even without the help of a therapist. Have you ever given your child a time-out for talking back — or a “heads-up” before taking him someplace that is likely to challenge his self-control? Then you already have a sense of how behavior therapy works.

“A lot of behavior modification is just common-sense parenting,” says William Pelham, Jr., Ph.D., director of the Center for Children and Families at the State University of New York at Buffalo. “The problem is that none of us were trained how to be good parents, and none of us expected to have children who needed parents with great parenting skills and patience.”

The basic idea is to set specific rules governing your child’s behavior (nothing vague or too broad), and to enforce your rules consistently, with positive consequences for following them and negative consequences for infractions. Dr. Pelham suggests these seven strategies:1. Make sure your child understands the rules.

Telling a child to “do this” or to “avoid doing that” is not enough. To ensure that your child knows the rules cold, create lists and post them around the house. For example, you might draw up a list detailing the specific things your child must do to get ready for school.Make sure the rules are worded clearly. Go over the rules to make sure he understands, and review them as necessary. Stick with the routines until your child has them down.

Click here for more:

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Sue Scheff: The Deliberate Misuse of Inhalers found in 1/4 of Teens

We've had a few questions on the message board in the past months about teens potentially using their asthma medication to get high.

One poster's friend had a daughter whose inhaler recently needed to be refilled every week when it normally was only refilled every two or three months. Another's stepson was misusing his asthma medication and "has been eating this pills as if they are M&Ms!"

The University of Michigan News Service featured an article about a new study looking at the prevalence of inhaler abuse in teenagers.

The study in question was performed by researchers at the U of M using 723 adolescents in thirty-two treatment facilities. The study reports that "nearly one out of four teens who use an asthma inhaler say their intent is to get high".The lead author of the study, Brian Perron, declared that their findings "indicate that inhaler misuse for the purposes of becoming intoxicated is both widespread and may justifiably be regarded as a form of substance abuse in many cases."

The study also found that teens that abuse inhalers are more likely to abuse other drugs as well as have higher levels of distress. They were also more "prone to suicidal thoughts and attempts than youths who did not misuse their inhalers to get high."From a survey of the study participants, "about 27 percent of youths who had been prescribed an inhaler used it excessively. In addition, one-third of all youths in the sample had used an asthma inhaler without a prescription."

So why would teens abuse their inhalers? What are the effects? The inhaler abusers said that they experienced positive feelings of euphoria, relaxation, and an increase in confidence.The negative effects were "feeling more dizzy, headaches, rapid heartbeat, anxiety, irritability, and confusion."

The most common misusers of their asthma inhalers were females and Caucasians.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Sue Scheff; Why Kids and Teens Steal

Kids of all ages - from preschoolers to teens - can be tempted to steal for different reasons:

Very young children sometimes take things they want without understanding that things cost money and that it's wrong to take something without paying for it.

Elementary school children usually know they're not supposed to take something without paying, but they may take it anyway because they lack enough self-control.

Preteens and teens know they're not supposed to steal, but they may steal for the thrill of it or because their friends are doing it. Some might believe they can get away with it. As they're given more control over their lives, some teens may steal as a way of rebelling.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Sue Scheff: Children Who Bully

Bullying among children is aggressive behavior that is intentional and that involves an imbalance of power or strength. Typically, it is repeated over time. Bullying can take many forms such as hitting or punching (physical bullying); teasing or name-calling (verbal bullying); intimidation through gestures or social exclusion (nonverbal bullying or emotional bullying); and sending insulting messages by e-mail (cyberbullying).

There is no one single cause of bullying among children. Rather, individual, family, peer, school, and community factors can place a child or youth at risk for bullying his or her peers.

Characteristics of children who bully

Children who bully their peers regularly (i.e., those who admit to bullying more than occasionally) tend to:

Be impulsive, hot-headed, dominant;
Be easily frustrated;
Lack empathy;
Have difficulty following rules; and
View violence in a positive way.
Boys who bully tend to be physically stronger than other children.
Click here for entire article.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Parents Universal Resource Experts (Sue Scheff) Preventing Addiction by John C. Fleming MD

Drug and Alcohol Prevention Research

A generation ago, with the idea to prevent drug addition for future generations, former first lady Nancy Reagan launched her famous anti-drug campaign with the slogan, "just say no to drugs." Sadly, addiction and drugs still plague our children despite the best efforts of educators and parents. The benefits of drug prevention are real but our approach to prevention has not been successful.

Now, drug and alcohol prevention research is available from Dr. John Fleming in the book Preventing Addiction. In this first-of-its-kind book, Dr. Fleming introduces real ideas to prevent drug use and alcohol consumption in our children based on medical science and on Dr. Fleming's personal experience as a parent of four grown children. He helps to fully explain the phenomenon of addiction and shows parents the best new ways to raise and train children to avoid drug and alcohol addiction.

Read more about preventing addiction and order this book at

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Parents Universal Resource Experts (Sue Scheff) At Risk Teens

Are you struggling with your teen?

Visit P.U.R.E. - Parents Universal Resource Experts - Parents helping parents.

P.U.R.E. is based on reality - especially with today's teen society of technology including MySpace and other Internet concerns for children. Today we are educating children at much younger ages about substance abuse, sex, and more.

The latest wave of music and lyrics, television, and movies help to contribute to generate a new spin on this age group.

This leads to new areas of concern for parents. We recognize that each family is different with a variety of needs. P.U.R.E. believes in creating Parent Awareness to help you become an educated parent in the teen help industry.

We will give you a feeling of comfort in a situation that can be confusing, stressful, frustrating, and sometimes desperate.Desperate? Confused? Stressed? Anxious? Helplessness? Frustrated? Scared? Exhausted? Fearful? Alone? Drained? Hopelessness? Out of Control? At Wit's End?...

Monday, May 19, 2008

Parents Universal Resource Experts (Sue Scheff) Raising Kids Today is Challenging

Connect with Kids is a comprehensive website that offers parenting articles, helpful tips for parents, parent forums and more. They also offer Parenting DVD's on a variety of subjects that affect our kids today. Whether it is Troubled Teens or how to raise successful kids - there is probably a DVD that can help you better understand the issues surrounding our kids today.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Sue Scheff: Learn More about Teen and Youth Gangs Today

Youth Gangs

Gang activity in the United States is not always the way that the media portrays it. Gang violence is not restricted to inner city settings, nor is it simply the activity of minority groups. There are gangs in cities, suburbs, and even small town America and the violence that many of these gangs encourage and participate in is costing far too many lives. Most gangs are a loosely organized group of individuals who control a territory. A significant portion of gang violence stems from fighting over territory, which may be used to distribute drugs. Additionally, gangs tend to denote members through a sign or color. Two of the most well known gangs in the United States are the Bloods and the Crips which use the colors red and blue respectively.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

(Sue Scheff) Report: Depressed teens, marijuana a dangerous mix

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Teenagers who use marijuana put themselves at higher risks for serious mental health problems, including worsening depression, schizophrenia, anxiety and suicide, according to a new White House report.
Click here for entire article and report.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Sue Scheff: Parent Connect

Online Program Allows Parents to Tracks Kids' Grades Step by Step

A new online program called Parent Connect allows parents to check their children's grades step by step — long before a report card is printed.

But is the technological advance an ace for students and teachers or a hindrance that allows helicopter parents to hover?

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Sue Scheff (P.U.R.E.) Bystanders Learning to Stand Up to Bullying

Research says almost one-third of today’s teens are either bullies or victims of bullying. Bullies typically attack kids who are different in some way, kids who may be overweight …or smart …or poor … or talented…or don’t wear the ‘right’ clothes. But those who witness bullying are afraid too – 88 percent of teens say or do nothing – afraid they will become victims if they try to stop it.

How can we modify the behavior of this silent majority – those who witness bullying in school hallways, the lunchroom, locker rooms, playgrounds, school buses and neighborhoods? In Silent Witness, experts say that together these silent witnesses have the power to be the “tipping point” and can change the climate of bullying in American schools. They may be the most powerful weapon of all.

Watch Silent Witness to help start a conversation about how to stand up -- for yourself, your children, your students and others. Appropriate for the classroom and at home.

Learn about the power bystanders have to stop bullying, the difference between tattling and reporting, and how “telling” not only protects victims, but also could protect a witness from becoming a victim.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Sue Scheff: Does your child steal?

What to do if your teen is stealing

If you discover that your teen is stealing, it is important to confront them before taking any further action. If you *suspect* your teen is stealing (e.g., you have no witnesses or tangible proof), it is important that you approach the situation calmly and rationally- and do not accuse your teen of anything. Allow your teen to explain their side of things before you react. If they confess to stealing, it is important that you are clear in the position that you will not tolerate this type of behavior. Experts suggest a great way to dissuade your teen from stealing again is to escort your teen back to the store with the stolen merchandise and have them apologize and explain themselves to store security or management.

If your teen has already been caught in the act by store personnel, his or her options may not be that great. Each store determines its own rules about how to handle shoplifters. Some teens may be let off with a warning, while others may be banned from the store, and some may even be formally charged and prosecuted in compliance with local laws. If your teen is arrested and prosecuted, the value of the merchandise they have stolen will greatly determine the amount of trouble your teen may find themselves in. If the merchandise or money your teen has stolen is worth less than $400, this is considered petty theft. Petty theft is punishable by fine and up to six months in prison. If the value is over $400, your teen can be sentenced to up to a year in prison, and can be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony. The danger in your teen being charged with a felony is that this will stay on your teens permanent record, unless your teen is deemed by the court to be a minor and his or her record is sealed when your teen turns 18.

A felony on your teen’s permanent record can haunt your teen for the rest of his or her life. It can prevent your teen from college acceptance, future jobs, scholarships, apartments and can even play a role in future custody battles or adoption cases.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Sue Scheff: Struggling Teens, Troubled Teens, At Risk Teens, Rebellious Teens

Struggling Teens, At Risk Teens can be described in many ways, depending on what they are struggling with.Is your teen struggling or at risk? Are they experiencing the bumps of puberty combined with the pressures of teen-life today?

There are many reasons why your child could be experiencing a confusing time in their young life, but it is our responsibility as a parent to try to determine the cause of their inner hurt and sadness that can potentially cause negative and inappropriate behavior. Many teens will close up like a clam, but we need to keep on digging to help our child from sinking to a level of making bad choices. As a parent, this can be extremely difficult, and may require outside help.

Don’t ignore it, search for answers then find your take action. Seeking outside assistance is nothing to be ashamed of and knowing you are not alone is comforting.If a teen is struggling in school with their academic's, this could be a learning disability that has not been diagnosed or properly diagnosed. Your child could also be having some emotional problems that are distracting them from school and hopefully a therapist or guidance counselor could help you with.

This can evolve from many sources including problems at home, a disagreement with a friend, or even an issue that they have been suppressing. With this, we always encourage parents to seek local therapist to evaluate the situation. Early prevention can help your child not to become a troubled teen.At times a child may view an issue as extreme, when in reality it is minor. It is how a child perceives the problem, in comparison to how an adult would see the same problem.

Children do not have the maturity parents have which may cause a child to act out negatively due to a minor incident. We may think it is small issue, but to the teen, it is huge. This needs to be addressed before it escalates into "major trouble." Problem teens, at risk teens, struggling teens, troubled teens, depressed teens, angry teens, difficult teens, violent teens all need proactive parents to seek help sooner rather than later.If you feel your teen is in need of further Boarding School, Therapeutic Boarding School, Military School or Program Options, please complete our Information Request Form. Please visit Informational Articles for more beneficial information.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Parents Universal Resource Experts (Sue Scheff) Kids Try Different Products for 'Legal High'

KTVZ of Central Oregon posted Part Two of a special report, "Teens and Legal Highs". This article seeks to inform parents about the prevalence of inhalant abuse in youth.

A School Resource Officer interviewed said that computer duster is a particularly popular inhalant.

One teenager that the interviewer spoke with says his peers "take the nozzle of that dust off stuff, put it in their mouth, and spray. Your lungs can collapse. Teens also do that with hairspray you put a towel over it. I saw it on TV."

YouTube is also mentioned, as many students are able to find videos of their peers huffing and laughing, without showing any of the negative side effects.

Other legal highs are explored, such as eating nutmeg and poppy seeds. One woman, after losing her poppy plant, said that she "wondered where did my plant go? I realized kids took it to get high. I bet they didn't get high from it, but I miss my plant."

I see this as another argument against restriction of inhalants in retail stores - it's clear that kids aren't looking for a specific product, but for anything to get the high sensation. If one product is banned, next week it will be another popular 'drug' that kids ingest. Should nutmeg be kept locked in cabinets? Should poppy seed products only be sold to adults with valid ID?

Perhaps the focus should be on why youths are so intent on getting high by any means possible. Is it a form of escape? Is peer pressure so overwhelming? Is it just juvenile experimentation?

Friday, May 2, 2008

Parents Universal Resource Experts (Sue Scheff) Inhalant Use Among Teens, Parents Need to Learn More

Monitoring your child will make your child much less likely to use Inhalants or other drugs.

· Know where your child is at all times, especially after school
· Know your child's friends
· If you find your child unconscious, or you suspect your child is under the influence of an Inhalant, call 911 immediately.

If you suspect your child might be abusing Inhalants, call the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222; or call the '1-800' number on the label of the product.

According to the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, "if you talk to your kids about the risks of drugs, they are 36% less likely to abuse an Inhalant." Parents can make a tremendous impact on their kids' choices by talking to them.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Sue Scheff: Teen Drinking

By Connect with Kids

Research statistics tell a sobering story: 75 percent of 12th graders have tried alcohol; 30 percent say they’ve been drunk in the past month; and nearly 150,000 teens wind up in the emergency room each year with alcohol-related injuries. Experts say too often parents send kids mixed messages, saying “hey, it’s part of growing up,” or it’s “just alcohol.” But teen drinking is illegal and it’s a parent’s responsibility to protect kids from its dangers.

When teens drink, they drink to get drunk – and that’s what makes it so dangerous. On The Rocks: The Epidemic of Teen Drinking tells real-life stories … two girls who convinced their dads to help them host an 18th birthday party for a friend that turned into a drunken brawl, complete with police … of alcohol-induced comas … and other teen drinking escapades that led to accidents, crime and life-changing mistakes.

Too often when there’s alcohol, parents are present. Learn what you can do to stop the drinking trend.

Watch On The Rocks with your family and start an important discussion, armed with facts, details of real-life situations, and expert opinion about teen drinking and its effects. No one wants their kids to spend their childhood drunk – and it’s time to stop the trend.