Saturday, May 31, 2008

Parents Universal Resource Experts (Sue Scheff) Is Your Child 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.





http://www.inhalant.org/


http://www.helpyourteens.com/


http://www.witsendbook.com/

Friday, May 30, 2008

Parents Universal Resource Experts (Sue Scheff) Agrument or Bullying?


By Julie Williams


Argument or Bullying: How to Tell the Difference


Sooner or later, it happens to just about every parent. Your child comes home from school sobbing, “That kid is SO MEAN to me!” It’s enough to make you want to race out, find that other kid, and whack him yourself.But what really happened? Most of the time, as many kids will eventually confess, there are two sides to the story.


Your child may have upset a classmate; or, as commonly happens, two friends misunderstood one another and the problem escalated, distressing them both. But sometimes, there is something worse going on: bullying. Professionals agree: if that’s the case, it’s a big deal, and adults need to move in to stop it.


Here are three key signs that you should be concerned:


Power Imbalance. Arguments happen between peers. When two children feel equal, they can solve problems together. But bullies pick on people they consider weak, says Nathaniel Floyd, Ph.D., executive director of the Institute for Violence Prevention. “It’s psychologically important,” he says, “for the bully to have that person under his control.” One child may physically torment another; but more often (and just as devastating), a bully will jeer and threaten. Children may also try “relational bullying” – hurting other kids by excluding and harassing them.


Intent to Harm. While kids may argue and become angry, they rarely walk into it intending pain. Not so with bullying. Bullies want to hurt other kids, says Virginia Blashill, M.Ed., a program implementation specialist at the Committee for Children, an internationally respected anti-bullying group. “The person doing the bullying takes a certain amount of pleasure in witnessing the pain or humiliation which has been caused.”


Repetition. While bullying may occur just once, it often includes further threats. In severe cases, bullies target their victims and pursue them. Floyd adds, with regret, that this isn’t “just a phase.” Adults must step in, or violent habits can continue for life.


Extreme as these behaviors may sound, researchers have found that they happen often in schools. What can parents do? First, take a deep breath and listen, listen, listen to your child. Feelings of humiliation and self-blame can be red flags for victims; if your child is acting differently, pay attention. Second, if you do think you see signs of bullying, treat the school as your ally. No school wants bullying to take hold, but, as Blashill says, adults can easily miss it – “especially the more subtle, social forms… like exclusion and spreading rumors.” Bring schools the facts and you’ll be giving school professionals the information they need to change the situation.


And finally: be a model yourself. Use fair negotiation and problem-solving strategies whenever you can. Bullying is bad news, but there is good news too: schools are doing more than ever to stop it, and parents can help.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Parents Universal Resource Experts (Sue Scheff) Norms aren't Normal

By Connect with Kids

“If you grow up listening to that stereotype, that you’re gonna grow up and do drugs, that you’re gonna grow up and have sex, then yeah … you’re gonna believe that.”

– Ryan Hentz, 18

What do teens think other teens are doing on a Friday night?

“If you want to be cool, you have to drink and go out … ,” says Leah Conover, 18.

“Partying, having sex … weed, smoking, stuff like that,” 17-year-old Latricia Smith adds.

Tad Kulanko, 18, agrees: “Drinking or all smoking pot; doing drugs all the time.”

Experts say that idea – that everyone is doing it – can be a powerful, self-fulfilling prophecy.

“Teenagers are often trying to find themselves. They want to fit in [and] they want to be part of the crowd,” says Dr. Sherry Blake, a psychologist.

“If you grow up listening to that stereotype, that you’re gonna grow up and do drugs, that you’re gonna grow up and have sex, then yeah, it’s gonna be implanted in your head and you’re gonna believe that,” says Ryan Hentz, 18.

But the stereotype is a myth, according to a movement called “social norming.” This movement’s message is that what’s “normal” for most teens isn’t getting drunk or high, having sex, getting pregnant or vandalizing property.

“The adolescent will realize that, ‘I have choices, and guess what, everybody is not doing this and I don’t have to be drunk or I don’t have to be high to be cool,’” Dr. Blake says.

“Social norming” has caught on at about 40 college campuses nationwide. But experts say parents can use the same concept with their own children well before college age.

Blake says to let them know that “there are a lot of teenagers doing positive things … the norm is not where we have to go out and party and drink.”

Tips for Parents

‘Social Norming’ Latest Trend to Curb Risk-taking

For years, study after study has focused on the number of teens who take negative health risks like smoking, drinking alcohol and abusing drugs. These widespread statistics lead the public to believe that bad behavior among today’s youth is at an all-time high, yet the opposite seems to be the case. Consider these statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 2005 Youth Risk Behavior Survey:

About 56.7% of high school students said they had not consumed an alcoholic beverage within the past 30 days.

An estimated 90.1% had not driven a car while under the influence of alcohol within the past 30 days.

Only 13.4% of students had smoked one cigarette a day for the last 30 days.

Nearly 61.6% have never tried marijuana.

About 87.6% have never sniffed glue, breathed the contents of aerosol spray cans or inhaled any paints to get high.

An estimated 96% have never taken steroids with or without a doctor’s prescription.

Several colleges are now finding that if the general impression is that most kids don’t drink alcohol, then those who do drink will drink less, and fewer will start drinking in the first place.

This philosophy to curb unhealthy habits, called “social norming,” is also catching on in high schools and middle schools across the country. Officials hope that as they promote the general good health of students, more parents and teens will recognize that taking less health risks is now the “norm.”

While you can’t protect your child or teen from taking a bad health risk, you can become a strong and positive influence in his or her life. The National PTA offers these tips for staying involved in your child’s life so that you can minimize the risks he or she takes:

Keep the lines of communication open. You need to have regular conversations with your teen and supply him or her with honest and accurate information on the many issues he or she faces. Start important discussions with your teen – about smoking, drugs, sex or drinking – even if the topics are difficult or embarrassing. Don’t wait for your teen to come to you.

Set fair and consistent rules. You need to set boundaries that help your teen learn that with his or her new independence comes responsibility. You and your child can work together to set appropriate limits. Be sure that your child understands the purpose behind the rules.

Support your child’s future. Even if you don’t feel you can help with homework, you need to demonstrate that education is important to you and your child’s future. It’s important to you’re your child’s teachers and to create a home environment that supports learning.

Be an example. You need to demonstrate appropriate behaviors. Show concern for and be involved in the community and at school. Maintain regularly scheduled family time to share mutual interests, such as attending movies, concerts, sporting events, plays or museum exhibits. Your teen will often “do as you do,” so don’t take negative health risks, such as drinking or smoking.

If your adolescent does cross the boundaries you have set in order to take a negative health risk, the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry suggests you keep in mind the following points about discipline:

Trust your child to do the right thing within the limits of your child’s age and stage of development.

Make sure what you ask for is reasonable.

Speak to your child as you would want to be spoken to if someone were reprimanding you. Don’t resort to name-calling, yelling or disrespect.

Be clear about what you mean. Be firm and specific.

Model positive behavior. “Do as I say, not as I do” seldom works.

Whenever possible, consequences should be delivered immediately, should relate to the rule broken and be short enough in duration that you can move on again to emphasize the positives.
Consequences should be fair and appropriate to the situation and the child’s age.

References

American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National PTA

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Parents Universal Resource Experts (Sue Scheff) How to talk to your teen


As the parent of a teen, you may long for the days when you could hold your child on your lap and they were eager to talk, Those days may be long gone, but you can still find ways to get your teen to talk and really start to connect with your teen.


To many parents, their teen is a closed book and getting a teen to talk can be like trying to make the earth stop rotating. At times it seems impossible to get them to open up and talk about their lives. But talking to your teen and knowing about their lives is one of the best ways to protect them from danger. Spying and snooping around isn’t the best way to get that information either, it will only upset matters if your teen finds out.

Here are a few tips on how to get a teen to talk:

Start young. Keeping a relationship going with your child is easier than starting one when you haven’t had one before. You may find them trying to pull away once they hit a certain age; just keep at it.

Find common ground. To get your teen to talk, first search for things that you and your teen are both interested in. It’s easier to talk about something that you both have in common. That way, you can ask your child about a band’s new album rather than the same old “how was school?”

Be open to what they say. When you get your teen talking, don’t be surprised if they say some things you don’t like. Just be open to what they’re telling you instead of being judgmental. You can tell them you don’t approve of something without attacking them. If they feel comfortable talking about serious things, they’ll be more likely to come to you if they have a problem.

Spend more together. A recent study showed that many teens rate not having enough time with their parents as one of their top concerns. Many teens feel they can’t talk to their parents because they’re always at work or busy doing something else. We often forget to take time out from our hectic lives to pay enough attention to our kids. Some suggestions for spending extra time with your teen are:

Set up a specific time every week to spend time with your teen
Have dinner at the table with the whole family as often as possible
Work out or engage in a sport with your kids
Drive your teen to school instead of sending them on the bus
While your teen may be reluctant to talk to you at first, keep trying. Likely, you’ll eventually break them down and they’ll look forward to talking with you and spending time together.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Sue Scheff: KidsHealth Educational Partner



KidsHealth offers a comprehensive website of articles, helpful tips for parenting, sound advice for teens and kids. Visit http://www.kidshealth.org/ to learn more.

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): Alliance for Consumer Education (ACE)


Welcome to the Alliance for Consumer Education's (ACE) inhalant abuse prevention site! ACE is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing community health and well-being.


Did you know 1 in 5 children will abuse inhalants by the 8th grade? Inhalant abuse refers to the deliberate inhalation or sniffing of fumes, vapors or gases from common household products for the purpose of "getting high".


This site is designed to assist you in learning more about inhalant abuse prevention and giving you tools to help raise the awareness of others. While here be sure to check out our free printable resources, and post any comments or questions on ACE’s community message board.


Friday, May 23, 2008

Sue Scheff: Understanding Teen Decision Making




What was he thinking? How could she? If you find yourself wondering what your teen was thinking, the answer may be not much. Kids often make snap judgments based on impulse, especially when situations come up quickly, leaving teens with little time to sort through the pros and cons.


Some of those hasty decisions may involve cheating in school; skipping class; using alcohol, tobacco, or illegal drugs; going somewhere or being with someone that you do not approve of; or driving too fast. But the consequences can include losing your trust, letting down friends, getting into trouble, hurting education and job prospects, causing illness or injury, or leading to other reckless behavior.
Click here for entire article from http://www.education.com/
http://www.helpyourteens.com/
http://www.witsendbook.com/
http://www.suescheff.com/

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Parents Universal Resource Experts (Sue Scheff) What to do when they just won't talk


What To Do When They Just Won't Talk



Author: Maggi Ruth P. Boyer
Source: Advocates For Youth


So, let's just set the stage. Your son or daughter is entering adolescence or may be fairly launched into that exciting, confusing, exhilarating stage of life. You've had a good, strong relationship. You still do. But … you know you want to keep conversations going about relationships, life goals, and sexuality and suddenly, you're talking, they're not. Maybe they're rolling their eyes, looking past you, shrugging their shoulders. Or, maybe they listen when you talk, but they are silent. What's a parent to do????

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Parents Universal Resource Experts (Sue Scheff) Troubled Teens? At Risk Teens? Struggling Teens?


Are you struggling with your teen?


Visit http://www.helpyourteens.com/ 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?...

http://www.helpyourteens.com/
http://www.witsendbook.com/
http://www.suescheff.com/

Monday, May 19, 2008

Sue Scheff: Parenting 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.
Click here for more information and a variety of Parenting DVD's.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Parents Universal Resource Experts (Sue Scheff) Inhalant Abuse




We've had a few questions on the inhalant.org 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.





Thursday, May 15, 2008

Parents Universal Resource Experts - Sue Scheff - Teen Gangs, What Can you do?

If you are worried that your child may likely become involved in a gang or already has done so, there are a number of ways to decrease the likelihood and protect your son or daughter. The main reason that teenagers decide to join a gang is to find a place of belonging and worth, as well as for something to do. Oftentimes, teenagers are simply bored and are looking for an activity and social outlet, and gangs serve just that purpose. To combat this, keep your son or daughter involved in extracurricular activities. Sports teams can provide the comradeship that many teens seek in a positive, productive environment. Not only will the individual be in a safer environment but they will also learn teamwork and other valuable skills. Arts programs and student leadership activities can serve a similar purpose, while teaching incredibly pertinent skills or developing a hobby or skill.

Click here to learn more.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Sue Scheff - Parents Universal Resource Experts - Teens and Tough Love


As a parent advocate, I have heard many parents that turn to tough love as one of their last resorts to help their struggling teen.

Many cannot understand or grasp the concept of, tough love or "not enabling" the child to ruin or run the family unit.

Enduring life with a teen that is running the home can result in many uproars, conflicts, arguments, battles, and sometimes psychical and verbal abuse. Tough love is exactly that: Tough. Loving our children is unconditional, but we don’t have to like what they are doing or how they are destroying their lives.

There will come a time when a parent realizes enough is enough!

This is the time that they need the support from outside sources, such as a Tough Love support groups, along with professional intervention.

This does not reflect you as a parent, nor does it place blame on the family, it is the child that is making the bad choices and the family is suffering from it.

Many times tough love is simply letting go. Let the child make their mistakes and they will either learn from them or suffer the consequences. Unfortunately depending on the situation, it is not always feasible to wait until the last minute to intervene.

If you see that tough love is not working at home, it may be time to consider residential placement (placement outside the home). Quality Residential placements work with the entire family. Once the child is safely removed from the family, everyone is able to concentrate on the issues calmly and rationally.

Tough love can mean finding the most appropriate setting outside of the home for your child. While in the whirlwind of confusion, frustration and stress that the child is causing, it is hard to see the actual problem or problems. With time and distance, the healing starts to occur.

Tough love is a very painful and stressful avenue, however in many families, very necessary and very rewarding. Tough love if used correctly can be helpful. However if you are the type to give in at the end, all the hard work of standing your ground will be for nothing.

Actually, your weakness or giving in could result in deeper and more serious problems. Please confer with professionals or outside help if you feel you are not able to follow through with what you are telling your child you will do.

Don’t be ashamed to ask for help, you are certainly not alone.

By Sue Scheff

Founder of Parents' Universal Resource Experts

Author of Wit's End!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Parents Universal Resource Experts - Sue Scheff - Alliance for Consumer Education - Preventing Inhalant Abuse


Welcome to the Alliance for Consumer Education's (ACE) inhalant abuse prevention site! ACE is a foundation dedicated to advancing community health and well-being.


Did you know 1 in 5 children will abuse inhalants by the 8th grade? Inhalant abuse refers to the deliberate inhalation or sniffing of fumes, vapors or gases from common household products for the purpose of "getting high".


This site is designed to assist you in learning more about inhalant abuse prevention and giving you tools to help raise the awareness of others. While here be sure to check out our free printable resources, post any comments or questions on ACE’s community message board, and visit our new blog by visiting http://www.inhalant.org/.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Parents Universal Resource Experts - Sue Scheff - Find out more


Are you struggling with your teen? Visit http://www.helpyourteens.com/ 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?...

http://www.helpyourteens.com/
http://www.witsendbook.com/
http://www.suescheff.com/

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Sue Scheff - Home Drug Tests for Teens


Parents are the #1 Reason Kids Don’t Do Drugs….


Test with HairConfirm Drug Test for a 90 Day Drug History Report!



Click on the link above if you are a parent that suspects your child is using drugs. Knowing early could prevent drug addiction.



Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Parents Universal Resource Experts (Sue Scheff) 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.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Parents Universal Resource Experts (Sue Scheff) Home Drug Testing for Teens


Parents are the #1 Reason Kids Don’t Do Drugs….


Test with HairConfirm Drug Test for a 90 Day Drug History Report!



Click on the link above if you are a parent that suspects your child is using drugs. Knowing early could prevent drug addiction.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Sue Scheff: Finding Teen Runaways


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.

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.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Sue Scheff: What is Inhalant Abuse?




Inhalant abuse refers to the deliberate inhalation or sniffing of common products found in homes and communities with the purpose of "getting high." Inhalants are easily accessible, legal, everyday products. When used as intended, these products have a useful purpose in our lives and enhance the quality of life, but when intentionally misused, they can be deadly. Inhalant Abuse is a lesser recognized form of substance abuse, but it is no less dangerous. Inhalants are addictive and are considered to be "gateway" drugs because children often progress from inhalants to illegal drug and alcohol abuse. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that one in five American teens have used Inhalants to get high.

Inhalation is referred to as huffing, sniffing, dusting or bagging and generally occurs through the nose or mouth. Huffing is when a chemically soaked rag is held to the face or stuffed in the mouth and the substance is inhaled. Sniffing can be done directly from containers, plastic bags, clothing or rags saturated with a substance or from the product directly. With Bagging, substances are sprayed or deposited into a plastic or paper bag and the vapors are inhaled. This method can result in suffocation because a bag is placed over the individual's head, cutting off the supply of oxygen.

Other methods used include placing inhalants on sleeves, collars, or other items of clothing that are sniffed over a period of time. Fumes are discharged into soda cans and inhaled from the can or balloons are filled with nitrous oxide and the vapors are inhaled. Heating volatile substances and inhaling the vapors emitted is another form of inhalation. All of these methods are potentially harmful or deadly. Experts estimate that there are several hundred deaths each year from Inhalant Abuse, although under-reporting is still a problem.

What Products Can be Abused?

There are more than a 1,400 products which are potentially dangerous when inhaled, such as typewriter correction fluid, air conditioning coolant, gasoline, propane, felt tip markers, spray paint, air freshener, butane, cooking spray, paint, and glue. Most are common products that can be found in the home, garage, office, school or as close as the local convenience store. The best advice for consumers is to read the labels before using a product to ensure the proper method is observed. It is also recommended that parents discuss the product labels with their children at age-appropriate times. The following list represents categories of products that are commonly abused.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Sue Scheff: Helping Teens Avoid Bad Decisions – and Risky Situations


Good Kids, Bad Choices by Connect with Kids


All kids make mistakes … but some bad choices can lead to terrible outcomes. As parents, we need to do everything in our power to help our children learn to make smart decisions. How do you help your kids learn about the consequences of a split-second decision? How do you help them avoid dangerous and risky situations?

Learn what leads kids to make bad decisions… and how parents can help with Good Kids, Bad Choices.

What is your greatest fear for your child? Car accident? Drug or alcohol addiction? Sexually transmitted disease? Unplanned pregnancy? Physical disability? Death? When it comes to learning how to avoid bad decisions, children need the guidance and insights that only parents can provide.

So how do parents learn what situations kids get themselves into? Why they make bad choices?

Order Good Kids, Bad Choices and find out.

You’ll see real teenagers talk about the split-second decisions they made … the terrible outcomes … and what they wish they had done instead. You’ll learn tips from experts and parenting advice about the steps you can take to help your child learn to make better decisions. And you’ll hear the inspiration from families who can help your family – before it’s too late.