Tag Archive | Parenting Books

Sue Scheff Truth: Career Thoughts

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.

Enjoy this article -click here.

Born Not Raised; Voices from Juvenile Hall

ImageAs I speak to parents on a weekly basis, I often hear how maybe if their teen spent some time behind bars they would appreciate what they have, or if they struggled through a rough primitive program, Wilderness program, militant style, boot camp or that type of model, they could scare their teen straight…. I explain to them if they thought about another approach – finding a a program that can actually determine where this negative behavior is stemming from?  From there work through it and start building to make it into a positive road to a bright future.

This recently released book almost seems to mirror what I have been thinking, though unfortunately, on a more extreme scale, these kids are incarcerated at a young age without a family that seems to truly care or without the means to get them outside help.

New Book Born, Not Raised: Voices From Juvenile Hall, Indicts Juvenile Justice System, Poor Parenting and Education Failures

San Diego Author Susan Madden Lankford, who explored homelessness and female incarceration in her two previous award-winning books, examines the plight of youngsters serving time in juvenile hall in her latest book BORN, NOT RAISED: Voices From Juvenile Hall  (Humane Exposures Publishing).

For two years, Susan Lankford and her daughter Polly Smith interviewed more than 120 incarcerated teenagers, eight of them weekly. In this book she features their voices, views, writing and drawings—along with interviews with pediatric psychiatrists, neurobiologists, judges, probation officers and other professionals.  In researching her previous book on women in jail, Lankford learned that a majority of them had at least two children in foster care, living with relatives or in detention. Because of the lack of basic parenting skills needed to produce productive individuals, many of their kids end up in jail, too.

“In studying these teens for BORN, NOT RAISED, I learned the major factors that added to or reduced the likelihood of their incarceration and recidivism,” Lankford explains. “One of the main things which I stress in the book is that there is a critical need for a family with a good-enough, consistent, loving and nurturing figure who helps children through the developmental stages to produce a curious, empathic and responsible youth, capable of resilience, adjustment, impulse control and good social skills.

“In this book I indict today’s educational system for its failure to respond to the needs of the global market and technology, as well as to the critical needs of students. I detail terrific programs which have discovered how to motivate kids who can’t meet classroom demands.

 “A third major point is that we need to start teaching parenting early. Fourteen-year-olds in juvenile detention often have kids but have no idea how to parent properly.  We also need to teach the reasons and means to avoid drugs, gangs and violence.”

Lankford believes that BORN, NOT RAISED contains information useful for university curricula, social work, psychology, criminal justice/corrections, medical school, law school, parents and parents-to-be.

In researching this book, Polly and I became convinced that early education and youth development are the most effective strategies for breaking the cycle of at-risk behavior and helping youth from difficult backgrounds to learn the skills that will enable them to thrive,” Lankford concludes.

Order today on Amazon.

Watch a preview on YouTube.

Is your teenager the problem?

Hmmm, well, this is a bold and common statement I hear quite frequently so when a new friend/colleague mentioned she has a book coming out this spring with this title, I was intrigued.  After all, as a parent that struggled with a teen that was less than perfect, and liked to convince me that “I” was the problem, this book just may go flying off the shelves.

My Teenager Is The Problem” is written by Ronae Jull, the Hope Coach.

A bit about this new book…..

Do you struggle with that one family member who constantly challenges your serenity, twists your stomach into knots and keeps you up at night, questioning your sanity? If that family member is your teenager, you’re not alone.

Teenagers can cause feelings of anger, incompetence, and helplessness in even the most confident parents. Regardless of how successful your professional life, your home keeping skills, or your other relationships,parenting a teen can challenge your resolve to remain calm and mindful when dealing with him or her.

Maybe you’ve come to feel that you shouldn’t have become a parent, you can’t do anything right, and that your teen may not make it to his or her adult years in one piece.

You don’t have to feel this way.

Order My Teenager IS the Problem! today and recapture peace and sanity for you and your family. The book — authored by The HOPE Coach, Ronae Jull — provides specific step-by-step strategies, guaranteed to save your teen and renew your peace-of-mind.

Read just a few of the proven solutions offered in this amazing book below:

Creating and enforcing boundaries

  • Dealing with bad attitudes
  • Substance abuse
  • Dealing with and stopping rage
  • Helping your depressed teen
  • Coping with bullying behavior
  • Helping your mentally ill teen
  • …and much more…

For more information on Ronae Jull and her services, visit her website at www.RonaeJull.com.  You can follow Ronae Jull on Twitter and join her on Facebook!

As a Parent Advocate and Author of a parenting book on residential therapy, Parent Coaching can be an avenue a family can use prior taking the step into residential therapy.

Parent Stress: Does it ever end?

Opening the year with my favorite Parenting Expert and good friend, Dr. Michele Borba.  2010 left us on Friday night and if we could leave our stress behind that easily too, life would be so much easier!  Michele Borba posted a fantastic article on STRESS! According to a recent study:  Kids pick up parent’s stress more than we know! Parenting advice to help you keep a lid on your stress–and your family’s–in time for the holidays.

Kids Pick Up Parent Stress

Sure parenting is wonderful. But let’s face it, parenting can be also stressful. You may think that you’re shielding your children from your worries, but a new report released by the American Psychological Association shows we’re not doing such a good job of trying to cover up stress. The report found that 91 percent of 1,136 young people ages 8-17 surveyed cite ways they know parents are stressed, largely by their behavior.

The survey, conducted by Harris Interactive online in August,reveals that our kids are watching and what they are see and hear in our behavior isn’t all for their best:

34 percent of kids say parents yell
30 percent say parents argue with other people in the household
18 percent say parents are too busy or “don’t have time for me”


How Our Stress Makes Our Kids Feel

But here is the real clincher. The survey revealed how our kids feel when their parent is stressed:

  • Sad (39%)
  • Worried (39%)
  • Frustrated (31%)
  • Annoyed (24%)
  • Helpless (21%)
  • It does not bother me (14%)
  • Angry (13%)
  • Scared (13%)
  • Alone (8%)
  • Other (2%)

Source: American Psychological Association by Frank Pompa, USA TODAY

Our stress is impacting our kids. Two additional reports about that stress buildup are troubling. If you need a little bit more motivation that it’s time to change, read on. Here are just two (of many) that show “happy days” on the home front may be taking a backslide.

Drinking and taking drugs–marijuana and cold and cough syrup–is up amongst teen girls. The top reason girls say they are getting high? (Not good). It’s to reduce stress at home.
An APA report showed teen stress increasing to epidemic levels and call it a “medical health hazard.” Teens say the top reason for the stress: Pressures from home.

The recession, job uncertainty, house foreclosures are just three reasons stress is rising. But the holiday season doesn’t help reduce those heightened levels. More lists. More to do. More cooking.  More pressure. More concern about getting “everything just right.” More worries about money. These next few weeks are also the perfect time to find healthy ways to stop that tension from building in our homes and put a lid on our stress.

7 Tips to Help Put a Lid on Your Stress

Here are seven secrets that help you remain calmer, and keep your household more peaceful. The trick is discovering which one (there’s a hint – just do one)..works best for you, and then practice it until it becomes a habit. Doing it as a family will help everyone learn how to put a lid on a hot temper. Remember: stress comes before anger. The trick is to reduce that stress so it doesn’t escalate.

Secret 1: Give Yourself a Time-Out. Stress comes right before anger and we usually have only seconds to stop that pressure buildup. So tune into your stress signals (a pounding heart, your clenched fists, the grinding teeth, your raised voice), and then act. “Mommy needs a time-out.” Then turn and walk, sip water slowly, or take deep breaths. Do whatever it takes to get back in control even if you need to lock yourself in your bathroom a few minutes. Then teach your kids to do the same.

A big secret on this one: Create a nonverbal signal (like an umpire uses that signals “Time Out”) and use the hand gesture to show you — or another member — needs a time out. When we’re in stress mode our voice tone goes up a notch (or two) and we’re more likely to do that thing kids hate: y-e-l-l. So try a hand signal. It can be a goldmine with a teen.

Secret 2: Use “Calm Talk.” Lean to say a simple message to yourself to control your temper. “Stop and calm down.” “Stay in control.” Or: “I can handle this.” Choose a phrase, and then rehearse it a few times each day until you can use it. One mom wrote her calm down phrase on a card and stuck it in her diaper bag. (Her baby was a real “mover and shaker” and changing him was a “challenge”). As soon as she opened the bag, she’d see her card. It reminded her to calm down, and so she did.

Secret 3: Take Five (or a 100). My girlfriend reduces her motherhood stress by listening to a soothing CD of rain sounds. Whenever she feels her “Wicked Witch of the North” mode coming on, Sharon quickly retreats to her bedroom, closes the door, turns on the tape, plops on her bed, and zones out—that is, for five minutes. She says those few minutes help her regain control so she feels calmer. Another friend has her mother phone her preschooler at four o’clock each afternoon and keep her daughter occupied, so she can “Take Five” (or ten, twenty? Or whatever it takes!)

Secret 4: Teach: “Stop and Breathe.” The very second you feel you’re losing control, take a deep, slow breath (or two or three). Getting oxygen into your brain is one of the fastest ways to relax. I used this strategy with my kids, they’d remind me when my patience-level was on a nose-dive. “Mom, ‘Stop and breathe’, they’d chime. (Such sweet little helpers. Now if they could only recognize their own stress signs).

Secret 5: Imagine Something Calming. Think of a person or place that helps you feel calm and peaceful—your Honey, that special romantic spot, the beach, your bed. The second you feel your stress building, close your eyes and think of the person or your calm place while breathing slowly. My girlfriend loads her ipod with soothing music and plugs it in when the going gets tough. Find what works!

Secret 6: Do Elevator Breathing. Close your eyes, slowly breath out three times, then imagine you’re in an elevator on the top of a very tall building. Press the button for the first floor and watch the buttons for each level slowly light up as the elevator goes down. As the elevator descends, your stress fades away. Just remember to do it the minute you feel that stress start to mount.

Secret 7: Try Stress Melting. Find the spot in your body where you feel the most tension; perhaps your neck, shoulder muscles, or jaw. Gently close your eyes, concentrate on the spot, tense it up for three or four seconds, and then let it go. While doing so, imagine the stress slowly melting away. Or let those yoga deep breathing exercises you may have practiced kick in.

Anger management isn’t just for moms and dads. Why not get your whole family involved in learning one of these secrets to help them cope with stress and quick tempers? Just choose one strategy, announce your intentions, and show everyone how it works. If you practice it as a family you’ll have not only a calmer you, but a more peaceful household. (Sigh! — and it’s back to Happy Days!) Stress is mounting–for parents and kids. Let’s get serious and find ways to reduce it.

All the best!

Dr. Michele Borba, Parenting Expert

Order her book today – Big Book of Parenting Solutions.  It is the one and only book you will need for many years to come!  I often refer to it as the Big Book of Parenting Recipes!  Michele Borba is our Julia Child  – Number one when it comes to parenting as Julia Child was to cooking!

Sue Scheff: Teen Proof Your House – Summer is more Home Time

It’s summer, it’s school break and it is time to hang with your friends!  Some households with both parents working or single parent homes, teens have more free unsupervised time.  This isn’t a bad thing however if you suspect your teen is using drugs, their time alone can be trouble.

Did you know your home can be the culprit in drug use?  Stop Medicine Abuse has created an awareness to help parents recognize the signs of OTCover the counter drug abuse.  Yes, cough medicine, anti-depressants, blood pressure medications and much more.  You home can be a place to retrieve drugs.  Have you heard of fishbowl parties?

It can be hard to tell if there is an issue when your teens’ moods change from day to day.  While many signs of abuse are also common signs of just being a teenager, they can also be cause for concern and a good reason to talk to your teen about the real risks of cough medicine abuse.

  • Hearing your child use certain slang terms for dextromethorphan abuse, such as Skittling, Tussing, Robo-Tripping, Triple Cs and Dex
  • Empty cough medicine boxes or bottles in the trash or a child’s room, or boxes or bottles missing from the medicine cabinet
  • Changes in friends, physical appearance, or sleeping or eating patterns
  • Declining grades
  • Loss of interest in hobbies or favorite activities
  • Hostile and uncooperative attitude
  • Unexplained disappearance of household money
  • Visiting pro-drug web sites that provide information on how to abuse dextromethorphan and other substances
  • Unusual chemical or medicinal smells on your child or in his or her room

Join the Stop Medicine Abuse Facebook Group and stay informed.  Follow them on Twitter too!

The key to prevention is education.  Be an educated parent, you will have safer teens!

Related articles:

Not My Kid: Parent Denial
Huffing: Dangers of Inhalants
Teen Drug Prevention
Parents the Anti-Drug
Should Parents Read Teens Journal

Read more.

Sue Scheff: Learn to Think Before You Speak

How many times have you said something you wish you could take back?  How many times have your children repeated things you wish you never said?  As many parents know, what goes in their little ears can come out of their mouth – when you least expect it or want to hear it!

How about when your teens repeat personal matters in your family?  If you are sharing private information with your teenagers, you may want to be clear it is personal and especially not to share it online or in text. 

What about when kids don’t understand certain slang words and use them unknowingly in conversations that end up hurting others? 

A very sensitive and difficult subject is sexuality.  Today we are better educated and in tune with different ways of life for people and their own sexuality.  What happens when a teen believes they are gay or a lesbian?  Life can become extremely difficult for them.

Parents play a crucial role in teaching their children about the negative impact of bullying and harassment. Talk about these issues with your children and within your community.  Learn about the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN).  No matter what your religious beliefs are, no one should condone bullying.  We should not judge others, as we don’t want them to judge us. 

GLSEN Mission: The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network strives to assure that each member of every school community is valued and respected regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.

Some parents may not be comfortable with this subject, however it is a topic that needs to be addressed.  Ignoring it can lead to devastating results.  Whether it is a child hurting or taking their own life (watch video of grieving mother, Sirdeaner Walker), you need to be an educated parent.  Teach respect for all people, all races and all walks of life. 

Studies indicate that students who regularly experience verbal and non-verbal forms of harassment suffer from emotional turmoil, low self-esteem, loneliness, depression, poor academic achievement and high rates of absenteeism. Research also shows that many of the bystanders to acts of harassment experience feelings of helplessness and powerlessness, and develop poor coping and problem-solving skills. Clearly, homophobic and all types of harassment-and the toxic effects they produce-are whole school problems that all educators must confront. – ThinkB4YouSpeak.com

Be an educated parent, you will have safer teens. Teach your kids to “think” before they speak.  As adults, we also need to think before we speak at times too.  We need to be an example to our children. 

Watch video and read more.

Sue Scheff: Your teens friends – Do you know them?

Last fall Dr. Michele Borba, TODAY Show Contributor, released her largest book ever!  The BIG Book of Parenting Solutions – 101 Answers to Your Everyday Challenges and Wildest Worries.

In a 10 part series on Examiner, I explored only a tiny fraction of what BBPS (BIG Book of Parenting Solutions). Parenting Resolutions with Solutions is a 4 part series that shared 101 topics that are covered in BBPS.

Today the topic is bad friends (social scene section).  Turn to page 315 and learn about how your kids are choosing friends and why.  Find out the problem, the red flags, and why sometimes change is necessary.  You will also find solutions!

Here are some signs and symptoms that your child may be choosing less than a desirable peer group.

  • Secretiveness. Your child becomes very secretive, locks his room, and covers up what he is doing.
  • Changes in appearance.  Your child starts wearing “provocative” attire, wants only pricey or name-brand items, has a complete change in hairstyle, or starts wearing gizmos that “just aren’t your kid.”
  • School problems.  Your child’s grades drop; he loses interest in school, gets detentions or tardies, doesn’t turn in homework; you have received worried calls or notes from his teacher.
  • Changes in activities.  Your child pulls away from past friends; sees this kid exclusively; is negative about “former” pals; or quits a team or sport or other activities that he has always loved.
  • Character changes.  Your child’s integrity and your family values, culture or religious beliefs are affected; he is more withdrawn, moody, or sad.
  • Untrustworthiness.  You can no longer count on your child’s word; he lies, doesn’t keep his promises, isn’t where he say he is, misses his curfew, sneaks out.
  • Decline in reputation.  Your child’s image is negatively affected; teachers, coaches, other parents, or kids pull away or say your kid “has changed” – and not for the better.
  • Tense family relations.  You and your child have frequent arguments, and your relationships with your child is strained.
  • Violence.  Your child is preoccupied with violence in his drawings, writings, vocabulary, or choice of activities.

Of course any kid could show some of these traits, and they may have nothing to do with the friend he is hanging out with.  The trick is to keep a closer eye on your child and this new friend: how many of these symptoms showed up because this kid came into his life?  Also, are you sure the other kid is the negative influence—not vice versa?

The entire social scene section of BBPS covers so much more.  Cliques, Drinking, Peer Pressure, Sex, Swearing and more. 

If you are parenting today or going to be a parent, this book is a must in your library of parenting books. Order today!

Be an educated parent, you will be prepared and that means safer and healthier children!

Watch video. And read on Examiner.