Helping Struggling Teens

After 12 years, my organization has been recognized for helping literally thousands of parents and families with their tweens, teens and young adults.

Recently I was interviewed by Career Thoughts.

Parents’ Universal Resource Experts, Inc was created after I was duped online by trying to get my own daughter help.  I was a parent at my wit’s end.  I was vulnerable – I was scammed – and my daughter suffered the consequences.

Many people have asked about her, and she is now a grown woman, successful in her career and has two children of her own.  We have overcome the hurdles – not because of the horrific program she went to, but in spite of it – and because of the fantastic help we found after it to help de-programize her from the damage they did to her.

I always share with parents to learn from my mistake and gain from my knowledge.  That is the biggest gift I can give.

Read the article -click here.


Private School verses Public School and Your Teen

Private school vs public school…

This has been a long standing debate among parents.  With some it can be as simple as a cost factor.

It also depends on your individual child.  Their personality and how they interact with other kids as well as their learning ability in the classroom.

In the realm of parenting, few decisions hold as much importance as those regarding your child’s education.

From the moment they walk through the door of their very first classroom, children begin to learn the study habits and work ethic that will shape the rest of their lives.

For some parents, a private education over a public one is non-negotiable; here are ten of the reasons why:

1.  Poorly Performing Public Schools – In some areas of the United States, public schools are performing so poorly that graduates simply aren’t prepared for the rigors of college and thus opt to enter the workforce directly after high school or even to drop out. For some parents, this is a significant motivating factor in the decision to send kids to private school instead.
2.  Smaller Class Sizes – Hiding at the back of a small, private classroom is markedly more difficult than being lost in the shuffle of a sprawling public school. These smaller class sizes and the availability of more one-on-one instruction are one of the most popular reasons parents opt for a private education.
3.  Religious Education – Parents who are invested in the idea of a religious education often choose a private school connected to their faith in order to ensure that the same values they hold at home are instilled in their children during study hours. Because religion must be kept out of public schools, devout moms and dads might choose a more private, faith-based education.
4.  To Improve Academic Performance – In many cases, teacher-to-student ratio in a private school is just what a student who’s struggling to keep up in larger public classes needs. Curriculum and special programs in private schools can be vastly different from their public brethren, helping kids with diverse learning styles learn in a way that’s tailored to their specific needs.
5.  To Take an Active Role in Education – Most private schools have high expectations regarding parental involvement, which can be quite different from the hands-off policy adopted by public institutions. Parents with the desire and the time to become an active part of their kids’ education may find that a private school is more suited to that involvement.
6.  Higher Accountability – In a struggling public school, administrators might be more invested in high standardized test scores than keeping kids accountable for their day-to-day coursework. Because many public schools are exempt from government-mandated standardized tests, kids are actively taught rather than simply helped to memorize testing material.
7.  Sports Programs – Many private schools have strong athletic programs, making them an ideal choice for sports-minded kids. Parents that are invested in developing their child’s athletic potential often choose a private school as a result.
8.  Emphasis on Arts and Music Programs – State education budgets are being slashed across the country, leaving arts and music programs on the chopping block. In some districts, these programs have already been discontinued, leaving parents of budding artists and musicians to seek private options for their talented offspring.
9.  University Preparation – Studies have indicated that a privately-educated child is twice as likely to continue to college as those that attend public school, and also more likely to complete a university program after enrolling. Because most private schools place a high importance on preparing kids for college, they might be a better choice for some families.
10.  Safety Concerns – While it’s certainly not true that all public schools are dangerous, or even that all private ones are safe, there are areas in the country where a public school might have a higher risk of violence, truancy and other concerns. Parents in these areas generally choose to privately educate their child if it’s even remotely financially feasible.

As is true with many far-reaching decisions, there are no one-size-fits-all options. Some families find that private school is more suited to their individual needs, while others may feel that a public education is a better fit. By carefully considering all options, you can make the choice that best benefits the needs of your child as an individual.


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Teacher Bullies: Yes, Teachers Can Be Guilty Too

Bullying—for years it has been the reason for fake illnesses, the mysterious need for extra lunch money, and more recently the tragic motive behind some suicides. Bullying is a serious issue.  No wonder a whole month is dedicated to shedding some light on the issue. But while most energy and time is spent lecturing students about bullying, recent headlines prove teachers could actually benefit from a good lecture or two themselves.

From the teacher who was caught on tape taunting a special-needs student, to the teacher who was filmed unloading on a student and saying “I will kick your a** from here to kingdom come,” to the coach who told one of his basketball players he was destined to become a future welfare recipient,  it’s evident that teachers can be bullies too. In fact, according to research, 2% of all children are harassed by their teachers at least once during their academic careers.

It’s not certain why some teachers choose to abuse their authoritative power and belittle/humiliate their students in class, but it happens more frequently than parents would like to believe.  And since teachers are older, stronger, and seen as “scarier,” the effects a bully teacher has on your child may be much worse than a bully his or her age. Don’t let your child be a victim. Follow these tips below to learn how to handle these sorts of situations.

1. Talk to Your Kid About School. Whether it’s immediately after picking up your child from football practice, at the dinner table, or when casually watching TV together, always try to ask about your child’s day at school. Some children are more open about the good and bad days and will tell you if they’ve been harassed by a teacher; others will try to keep it all in. If your child happens to do the latter, try to pick up on cues that your child may be distressed.

Encourage them to openly talk with you but don’t try to push too hard. If you finally catch wind that your child’s teacher is the problem, assure your child you will resolve the issue. * Note: While some children may be more than happy for you to take charge and get involved, others may beg you not to. Assure your child that you will handle it in a tasteful manner, but verbal abuse is never ok and you cannot let their teacher’s behavior carry on.

2. Set up a Personal Meeting With the Teacher. Your next step would be to set up a private meeting strictly between you and the teacher. While you may be heated, it may be wise not to start the conversation too aggressively (don’t confront the teacher right off the bat). Instead, try a different approach. Comment on how you’ve noticed your child seems to feel really anxious and stressed about coming to his or her class lately and see how the teacher reacts. Do they seem uneasy?

Listen to the teacher’s explanation of why he or she thinks your child now has this odd behavior. If you don’t like the answer, then you can take your complaint to a higher figure such as a principal. *Whatever the case, try to keep your composure (no threatening), and make sure you keep written documentation of what was said during every encounter you’ve had with school staff and administrators.

3. Make a Complaint with the Superintendent.Lastly, if the principal does not resolve the issue, then go straight to the head honcho—the district’s superintendent. He or she should definitely be able to accommodate you and take the matter seriously. If the issue still remains, then consider transferring your child to a different school and file an official complaint with the state licensing board—there is no reason the teacher should be able to continue to educate (and possibly bully) other children.


This is a guest post from Jacelyn Thomas. Jacelyn writes about identity theft prevention for She can be reached at: jacelyn.thomas@

Thank you for this special contribution by Jacelyn Thomas.

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PTA: Why Parents Should Get Involved

“I don’t have time!”

“There are other parents that want to”

“It’s just not for me”

EXCUSES!  When it comes to your child and their education, teachers, schools and communities, parents need to make the time and become interested in an organization that is targeted at making a better academic life for your child.

Concerns about public schools are much in the news, in recent times. Politicians, business leaders, college admissions officials, and academic researchers, have much to say about the quality, or lack thereof, of teaching methods and subject matter. How can a concerned parent make sense of it all and judge whether their child is receiving a proper education?

In the middle of it all, ignored by many and supported by not nearly enough, are local Parent-Teacher Associations. Local PTAs can and should be a valuable resource for any parent with questions, concerns, or ideas about how their children should be taught and cared for by schools.

Got Questions?

If you want to know how your school compares academically with local, state, and national standards, your local PTA can provide that information for you. If you have specific questions about how your child’s classroom operates, and what teaching resources your child’s teachers have available to them, your local PTA can help you obtain the answers you are looking for.

Your local PTA will be happy to provide informational materials, as well as offering you an ear for specific questions about curriculum and available services that you feel are not being addressed adequately by school administrators.

Got Complaints?

All local Parent-Teacher Associations have members that focus on parent concerns about teachers and/or classroom activities. Quite often, these concerns turn out to be based on misconceptions about classroom activities or one-sided reports from students to parents. If, after attempting to raise an issue with a teacher or administrator, a parent still feels the issue is not being properly dealt with, the local PTA can act as arbitrator or information collector in helping to find solutions.

Got Ideas?

If you think that you have ideas that would benefit your school’s ability to educate the kids in your community, the local PTA is a great place to bring your ideas for discussion. As a group, teachers are eager to hear any ideas you may have about helping them work better with your children. A local PTA gives you direct access to teachers ears, whether your ideas are about general teaching or specific issues with teaching your child.

This is, in fact, the major reasons that PTAs were created; to help teachers and parents work together in answering each other’s questions and addressing the education needs of students.

Got Time?

If you have even a few hours per month that you can devote to increasing the quality and responsiveness of your community’s schools, consider volunteering with the local PTA. I’ve heard other parents speak of Parent-Teacher Associations as if they are purely teacher’s advocacy organizations. That’s not the case. Teachers have unions for that sort of thing. PTAs are set up to foster connections between teachers and parents, to address issues of concern and improve the ability of both parents and teachers to help students achieve and grow.

As a parent, you have the opportunity and ability to get in there and be part of the solutions that help both teachers and other parents understand, improve, and grow in their ability to give students the best possible education. Don’t ignore your local PTA. Support it, join it, help it grow and be as effective as possible in this critical and difficult endeavor.

Source:  Babysitters

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Teens: Benefits of Joining Sports Clubs in School and your Community

Times sure have changed when it comes to sports.  It used to be that kids would play sports in school or the occasional little league team.  Kids were allowed to be kids.  Today it seems like parents are enticed to join the rec league to teach the kids to play soccer or volleyball.  That’s great, but then along comes a different coach that tells the parents their kids have a lot of talent and they are wasting it in a rec league.  The parents have a decision to make.

Check out 10 reasons parents find sports clubs for their kids.

  1. Better coaching: There’s nothing wrong with a mom or a dad coaching their kids’ sports team, but there comes a time when the kids have learned everything that mom or dad can teach them and they need a professional.  This is a coach’s only job.  He’s not constantly out of town on business and canceling practice.  The skills that the coach teaches the kids are the skills that will take them to the next level.
  2. Top-level players: If your kid is the best player on the team that’s great, but does it offer him or her any challenges?  Can they play to their potential if the other players aren’t at their level?  When all or most of the players on the team are good players then that encourages each player to become better.  This level of players can be found at a sports club.
  3. More opportunity: College scouts don’t go to high school games anymore to recruit.  They go to tournaments with high-level players such that you would find at a sports club.  Scholarships to college are given to the best players and one way to be the best is to be trained by a professional on a sports club.
  4. Bigger venue: Sports clubs play against other higher-level teams from different sports clubs.  These tournaments are not exclusive, but they might as well be since it’s usually filled with other sports clubs as competitors.
  5. Private coaching: More time is given to each child at a sports club and the coach is available to do private coaching to teach the kids higher and higher skills.
  6. Better practice opportunities: Most sports clubs have team practices twice a week by the time the child reaches the age of 10.  Then there are open skills sessions on other nights where each players can learn and improve their skills.
  7. Competition: Healthy competition between the players for a spot to be a starter gives the players incentive to continue to give it their all every time.  Most rec teams don’t even keep score.  Well, they aren’t supposed to, but I bet every kid and parent there knows what the score is.
  8. Being part of something bigger: Sports clubs have many teams and to keep a club going they have fund raisers and banquets.  The work that is involved in keeping the club going often have a bonding effect so the parents become a family.
  9. Better facilities: Sports clubs have their own fields so you don’t have to fight for a spot to practice at the local park are other place.  Many clubs also offer indoor and outdoor options for some sports.
  10. More stability: Sports clubs have more stability in that if the coach has to leave for some reason or quits the team doesn’t disband.  The club just finds another coach to take the team.  It’s very frustrating to find out at the last minute that your coach isn’t going to continue coaching next season and you don’t know where your kid is going to play next season.

Source:  Change of Address

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