Archive | May 2010

Sue Scheff: Sex in the City – Why Are Teens Having Sex?

Whether you have had an opportunity to watch 16 and Pregnant or Teen Moms, there is one common thread that weaves through these shows:  Teenage girls seem to believe having a baby will keep their boyfriend or having a baby will give them someone to love them unconditionally.

Every day, more than 2,000 teen girls in the United States get pregnant. In fact, 3 in 10 girls will become pregnant by age 20. Not having sex is the only sure way to avoid pregnancy, though there are a lot of other good reasons to wait, too. But if you’re having sex, you must use birth control carefully and correctly every single time you do.- Stay Teen

Teens and sex is a growing subject that has more resources and information than ever before.  Educating parents, teachers and teenagers is a commitment everyone needs to have.  Stay Teen is one of several valuable websites that offers a vast amount of information about having sex and/or considering having sex.

One common question is, “why’d you do it?”  Here are some of answers from Stay Teen:

  • I’m curious – I want to experiment/ get experience.
  • I just want to get this first time out of the way.
  • Sex is no big deal. Everyone is doing it.
  • Every one of my friends has had sex – I’m the only hold out. I feel like a wierdo.
  • The popular kids in my school are the ones who have sex – I want to fit in with them.
  • My partner really wants me to do it – he/ she says that it’ll bring us closer together/ prove my love/ show my commitment.
  • There’s nothing to do in this town but have sex.
  • I won’t really know how compatible we are until we’ve had sex.
  • My parents are so controlling and strict – they’d freak out if they knew I was having sex.
  • We’ve already had sex once – I can’t very well say no now.
  • It’s just a “friends-with-benefits” thing – what’s the big deal?

Think you might not be ready yet? Check out the Waiting page for more.  Visit for more educational information.

In South Florida, Planned Parenthood can help you educate your teens on sex and if they are considering have it.  Teen Talk is targeted at discussing sex education and protection with your teens.

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


Sue Scheff: Teen Depression – Digging Your Way Out

Depression, sadness, anxiety, panic attacks, suicidal thoughts, isolation, fear, etc.  Are you depressed?  Do you know someone that is suffering with depression?  Do you suspect your teenager may have signs of clinical depression? 

During today’s economy, many parents are struggling financially, maybe even lost their jobs or homes.  Teenagers are going through a turbulent time as bullying and school violence climbs.  Peer pressure is common as teens find it difficult to keep up with what they believe are the cool groups.

Guide to Healthcare Schools has developed a comprehensive list of depression resources on the Internet.  They have asked me to share this extensive research in hopes that it will help people understand the signs of depression, the types of depression as well as some treatment directories.

Today, depression is one of the leading disorders facing adults, teens, and children, and while an increasing number of people seek help, an even larger contingency of the population suffer in silence.

Recovering from depression is a long and treacherous rode, often requiring the treatment of underlying causes of depression as opposed to merely a chemical imbalance.

Of course, the first step to recovering from depression is recognizing that you have a problem. The following list of articles and statistics are designed to help you learn more about what depression is, the symptoms of depression, how to seek help, and how to begin to recover.

Statistics on Depression in the United States

The following statistics were gathered by PBS .

  • Depression affects 15 million American adults, which is roughly 8% of the U.S. population.
  • Bipolar disorder or manic depression affects a staggering 6 million American adults. This is roughly 3% of the population.
  • Women are twice as likely to develop depression as men.
  • 80% of people who experience depression do not receive any sort of treatment.
  • 80-90% of people who experience serious depression are unemployed.
  • 90% of people who commit suicide have some sort of diagnosable mental illness.
  • Scientists predict that by the year 2020 depression will be the 2nd most prevalent health problem in the world.

Read the entire research and resourcesclick here.

Need help in Broward County?  Visit Mental Health Association of Broward County.

Be an educated parent, you will have a healthier family. 

Read more.

Sue Scheff: A Text Message Changes Life – Loss of a Beautiful 16 year-old to School Violence, Emily Keyes

Who is Emily?  She was a beautiful young 16 year-old that lost her life in school shooting after being held hostage.  As her parents were frantic, her father thought to text her while she was in being held hostage.  The response was chilling and loving, yet this was Emily’s final communication to her family as she was killed shortly following the message. (Must watch video).

Her parents, John-Michael and Ellen Keyes created a foundation in her memory promoting school safety.  “I Love U Guys” is a foundation that is helping schools, helping students and helping communities.

During the time she was held hostage, Emily sent her parents text messages… “I love you guys” and “I love u guys. k?” Emily’s kindness, spirit, fierce joy, and the dignity and grace that followed this tragic event define the core of The “I Love U Guys” Foundation.

The mission of “I Love U Guys” was created to restore and protect the joy of youth through educational programs and positive actions in collaboration with families, schools, communities, organizations and government entities.

After extensive research, The “I Love U Guys” Foundation developed the Standard Response Protocol (SRP), a classroom response to any school incident.

You can find out more about this foundation on their Facebook page and their website at

Many articles will talk about the dangers of texting, text rage, driving and texting etc.   Here is one time that a text message is considered priceless in a strangely positive way.  Ellen and John-Michael Keyes are commended for taking this horrific incident and bringing out the positive side of it.  Changing lives, creating school safety and most of all, sharing their story to promote awareness to the need of schools, teachers, communities, authorities and parents banning together for the sake of our children.

Watch video  and help secure your school and community are safe places for your children.

Sue Scheff: Identity Theft – What Teens Need to Know

With the expanding Internet use by almost everyone and every organization and business, identity theft is a growing problem. 

South Florida is one of the prime stomping grounds for identity theft.  Florida became the state with the highest per capita rate of reported identity theft complaints, totaling 22,664 in 2009, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

Stealing a social security number can create havoc for the owner of that number. 

Reported by the Miami Herald, 18 year-old Tia Nicole Holzworth plans to attend community college and works an after-school job managing rides at the Fun Spot amusement park in Florida.

She is not a dishwasher, paver installer or construction worker.

Yet her Social Security number was used by a score of undocumented workers doing those blue-collar jobs during the past two years in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties, authorities say.

A recent study by the Federal Trade Commission found that more than 20,000 kids and teens were the victim of identity theft in 2008.

If your teen is getting a job this summer, or applying to colleges, talk to them about securing their social security number.   Until it happens to you, you cannot imagine the stress and frustration you will have to go through to explain that you are a victim of identity theft.  Years from now as you apply for a mortgage or want to purchase a car, your credit report may pop up suspicious activity. 

Teach your teens now how to protect their identity.  It could save them a lot of grief later.

How to safeguard your Social Security number:

• By law, your Social Security number is only required for opening new financial accounts or lines of credit, obtaining a job or for governmental purposes such as taxes or benefits.

Ask questions: If a company asks for your number, ask under what law they need the number and offer an alternative identification. Only give it out if you feel comfortable with the company, and if you don’t, be prepared to do without its services.

Don’t carry your Social Security card on a daily basis. Memorize the number. If your Medicare card had your number, make a wallet-sized photo copy for your wallet or purse and black out the final four digits.

Shred any financial documents that might have your Social Security number before trashing them. Monitor your financial statements closely. And be wary of entering your Social Security number on web sites.

Your Social Security number can be changed if you can prove you have been the legitimate victim of identity theft.

• For more information, go to  

Sources: Social Security Administration, Identity Theft Resource Center, Miami Herald

You can also visit the Identity Theft Resource Center for more helpful tips on securing your identity.  Read more.

Sue Scheff: Teens with Entitlement Issues – Spoiled Brats – What can parents do?

Generations earlier many kids saved their money to buy a record, or what some may call a 45 record.

Today some teens believe they don’t have to save their money or even be responsible for saving money since they can simply ask a parent or grandparent.  They expect their parents to afford cell phones, computers, text messages, those hundred dollar jeans and sneakers as well as having their hair and nails done at upscale salons.   We are in a society of entitlement issues!

Yes, this is as good as it gets and certainly can’t get much better for some teenagers.  What parents are not realizing is that all this giving is not helping our teens grow into responsible adults.  It is true, many parents want their children to have more than they did – or not have to struggle the way their parents did, however in reality, those struggles actually have taught life lessons.

Now, in the middle of a financial meltdown in many homes, teens are feeling the squeeze and are having a hard time giving up their tech toys, if they are being asked to.  Although this is not about depriving your children, it is about teaching accountability and responsibility during hard times. 

Asking your teenager to get a part-time job or summer job to help pay for their text messages or those highlights in their hair, is not being a bad parent.  It is about helping them to understand that learning to budget and save at a  young age can help them be better adults in their future.

Check out Teen Summer Job Sites. 

Parenting as good as it gets…. read more.

Sue Scheff: Racial Profiling – Black teens asked to leave store

Today we live in a melting pot. Our children are exposed to many diversities of life through a wide variety of cultures and languages. Generations earlier the divide seemed to be clearer. There were the “white” neighborhoods and the “black” neighborhoods.

Unfortunately there is still some racism that exists with some people. Whether it is your grandparents or parents, adults from prior generations have a harder time accepting all walks of life. Children today are more likely not to see color, race, religion.

A series on ABC News, What Would You Do, explored this exact issue and the results were shocking.  It is a common form of racial profiling and actually has a name, shopping while black.  This type of profiling is still happening today.  Watch the video below and you won’t believe your ears or eyes.

Teaching tolerance to our teens is part of parenting.  Although in some cases, it is clear our teens have to educate our parents and especially our grandparents.

Thinking back to the last presidential election, there were elder white people that simple wouldn’t vote for a colored man.  Yes, that word came up more than we realize.  It is was the generations of years past. 

Tolerance is often taught in subtle ways. Teaching your children to think before they speak before they can speak and watch your own behavior.  Children will imitate their parents. Kids of all ages develop their own values, in great part, by mirroring the values and attitudes of those they care about.

In Florida, the ACLU is raising pubic awareness of Racial Profiling.  Racial profiling is rooted in racism, a problem that has persisted in our country for some time.

Be an educated parent, your teens will have a healthier and brighter future.

More articles of interest:

Think Before You Speak, Bullying Myths, Gay Bashing: Teens Coming Out, Mean Girls

Read more.

Sue Scheff: Summer Programs and P.U.R.E.

Summer is almost here, is your teen failing in school?  Hanging out with less than desirable peers?  Smoking pot or worse?  Do you see your teenager going down a negative path?

Maybe it is time to find a good, positive Emotional Growth Summer Program to help stimulate your teen in a positive direction.  Build their self-worth to make better choices.  Help them to determine where these negative actions are stemming from. 

Being a proactive parent can help you prevent your teen from spiraling out-of-control.  Just say NO to Boot Camps, as many parents believe that beating a child into submission will scare them straight.  In many cases, this is simply false.  It is about building your child back up again.

For more help and assistance, please visit – for over a decade, Parents’ Universal Resource Experts (P.U.R.E.) has helped thousands of families.  Whether we are there to let you know you are not alone or you are seeking outside help, P.U.R.E. is available to you.  Fill out a form today and get a free consultation.