Sue Scheff: DrugWatch – Knowing Your Teen’s Prescriptions

An important guest post from

As we know from past experience, being a teenager can be quite difficult, while raising and empathizing with that teenager can be one of the more challenging tasks of being a parent. Especially when that child has a condition that makes things just a little bit more difficult.

The American Academy of Dermatology reports that approximately 40 to 50 million Americans struggle with acne, the majority – about 85 percent – being teenagers and young adults. Four contributing factors have been identified in the cause of acne: excess oil, clogged pores, bacteria, and inflammation. The most important played in the fight against acne seems to be inflammation, which determines if a blemish will appear as a minor blackhead or severe and painful lesion.

Parents who are coping with this stage of their child’s development may seek out any measure to alleviate their child’s stress over a condition that can lead to poor self-image, depression, and anxiety. Acne treatment takes time – up to four to eight weeks – and there is no guarantee that any prescribed treatment will work.

As a parent it is your responsibility to weigh your child’s need for a healthy self-image with the possible consequences of certain acne treatments. While many teenagers experience success with certain methods such as birth control, oral antibiotics, or corticosteroid injections, others do not and may opt for more extreme treatments.

According to U.S. House of Representatives documents from 1998-2000, Accutane use was directly related to 54 suicides and 51 suicide attempts. This popular acne medication has also been linked to stomach complications like Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).

If your child has taken this medication, it is your responsibility to advocate for their health. If you child has experience the onset of any of the side effects of Accutane or related generic medications that are still on the market, an Accutane Lawsuit may be an option for your child to receive the assistance they need.


Sue Scheff: Teaching Teens About Money Management

Teaching our teens about finances, budgeting and saving is more critical today than years prior.  With the troubling economy, the loss of jobs as well as some families losing their homes, teens need to learn early how to manage their money.

The St. Johns River Chapter of Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants and SJCPLS are teaming up to offer full day workshops to teens age 15-20 between June 26th through August 7th at various branch libraries. Subjects covered will be budgeting, saving, personal investing, using credit wisely, avoiding identity theft and more.

The St. Johns County Public Library System began offering this successful program two years ago, and the program has served as a model for other Florida libraries. Class sizes are limited, so call each branch to register. Lunch will be provided at each location by the Friends of the Library.

All classes are 10:00 am to 4:00 pm (same class repeated at each location)

  • Saturday, June 26 – Southeast Branch Library, 827-6900
  • Saturday, July 10 – Ponte Vedra Beach Branch Library, 827-6950
  • Saturday, July 17 – Anastasia Island Branch Library, 209-3730
  • Saturday, July 24 – Main Library, St. Augustine, 827-6940
  • Saturday, July 31 – Bartram Trail Branch Library, 827-6960
  • Saturday, August 7 – Hastings Branch Library, 827-6970

For more information, visit or contact Library Administration at 827-6925.

Be an educated parent, your teen will have a brighter future.

Related articles:

Finance Freak: Learn Financing Today for a Better Tomorrow
Financial Literacy and Your Teens
Knowing and Understanding Your FICO Score

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Sue Scheff: Fundraisers that Offer Practical Products – Help Raise Money for Your Schools, Youth Programs and more

Let’s face it, many parents cringe when their child brings home that fundraising package. You know you will have to call in the family troops, knock on your neighbors doors and the dreaded, bring it to the office.

I don’t think there are many people that enjoy being approached to purchase items, whether it is for a good cause or not, today’s economy has left many people having to cut back. How much wrapping paper do you really need? Do they not realize that Dollar Stores now sell fancy gift bags for a buck?

During the National PTA Convention the Exhibitors Hall was filled with great fund raising ideas. With a range of percentages going to the schools, the attraction is truly what can people use today? Another words, if they are going to support a good cause like the PTA or their school, let’s sell practical products!

Here are the some great ideas for organizations to use for fundraisers and hopefully you will find the items useful.

At the top of the list has to be RightResponse Responsible Fundraising. These are First-Aid Collection Kits for everyone, including your pet! Whether you want to purchase a kit for your car, for your teen that is involved in sports, for those that love the outdoors, or even for your pet, RightResponse First-Aid packages are priceless for emergencies. You never know when you need a First-Aid Kit and these mini-travel size ones are perfect for fundraisers. Who doesn’t need an instant First-Aid Kit at some time of their life? If you have an organization and looking for a practical fundraiser, check out and see if they can help you grow!

Another practical fundraiser, especially for the younger kids, is Growums! Located right here in West Palm Beach, they offer a great line of gardening with their motto, “add a little character to your garden“. They mean that literally! Growums™ garden kits are a fun, simple learning tool that teaches children and adults alike the joys and benefits of growing their own food. The results bring more than just entertainment and a tasty harvest. No more candy, no more popcorn, time for healthy eating and growing your own healthy treats. Check out their interactive website that children can learn more about harvesting in the gardening playland.

Did you know that 82% of people drink coffee? With this, it is practical to offer friends, family, and those co-workers a product they will use. Ugly Mug Coffee is here for your fundraiser. With 82% of Americans drinking coffee, you don’t have to wonder who’s going to be interested in your fundraiser – it’s not seasonal and it’s not a fad. In fact, most households purchase coffee on a weekly basis.

These and many others were featured at this year’s National PTA Convention. Whether your kids are involved in sports, clubs or other organizations, if they get involved in fundraisers, encourage them to take a look at products the average person could actually use!

Watch slideshow for more fun ideas.

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Sue Scheff: Tony Dungy and wife Lauren attend National PTA Convention

Tony and Lauren Dungy joined the National PTA Convention spreading the word that parents need to get involved and stay involved in their child’s lives.  Tony Dungy led the Indianapolis Colts to a Super Bowl win in 2007. He took his teams to the playoffs for ten consecutive years. He even won a Super Bowl himself when he played with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1978. And yet he says that being a father is his most important job.

Putting your family first should be your first priority and Tony and Lauren Dungy spoke about getting involved and staying involved!  They want to help you grow your PTA and community involvement in schools over breakfast!  All Pro Dad is part of Family First and reaches thousands of men every day with practical parenting advice.

Tony and Lauren Dungy suffered one of the most tragic losses a parent can go through. a loss of a child.  In 2005 in Tampa, Florida, their 18 year-old son James was found dead.  Through their faith and strength, they continue to speak out for families and help others by getting involved.

In an interview with, Tony and Lauren had these few tips to pass on to parents today:

  1. Hey guys, getting involved isn’t just for moms. Tony: “In my mind, PTA was a bunch of ladies who got together to talk about school. But really, there are plenty of men involved in the PTA — just not enough men, not as many as we need.”
  2. Your older kids may say they don’t need you — but they do. Lauren: “Parental involvement goes down as kids ages go up. By the time they get to middle school, participation drops to 75%. And by the time they get to high school, it drops to 52%.”
  3. Be there for your kids, even if it means laying down the law in a way may not like. They may not be happy about it now, but they’ll look back and appreciate it later. Tony: “Our 25-year-old, she’s a little happier now about how we raised her than she might have been when she was 15 or 16.
  4. Overachievers — remember that your kid is not like your job. Reinforce the positive. Tony: “With my coaching background, we’re always critiquing. You have to learn to compliment more.”
  5. There’s no practice game for parenting. You’re going to make mistakes. Even Super Bowl-winning coaches and Family First reps aren’t immune. Have the Dungys made mistakes? Tony: “Everyday, everyday.” Lauren: “We’re not perfect, we’re parents. You practice from experience.”

Tony and Lauren currently have 7 kids ranging from elementary school to college.  They make it their mission to keep their family first.  Learn more about bring All Pro Dad to your community.  Visit All Pro Dad.

Watch a short video of Tony Dungy and how easy it is for you to get involved.  Click here.

Follow Tony Dungy on Twitter and join his Facebook Official Page.

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Sue Scheff: Father’s Day – Give the gift of the FBI – Father’s Being Involved

Father’s Day is around the corner, it celebrates 100 years of tradition to honor our fathers.  Today fathers can come in many forms.  Mothers that serve as both parents and grandparents raising their grandchildren, as well as uncles, mentors and others that serve as a father figure.  In some cases it can be a special teacher that has reached out to be part of your child’s life.

At the National PTA Convention this week, there was a strong emphasis on getting fathers involved.  Helping them to increase their numbers.  Men now make up 12% of the PTA. That number could (and should) grow. And an invitation may be all the incentive they need.

Speakers included the leaders of the Fort Wayne Area Council (FWAC) PTA, galvanized their local units into recruiting dads to join. Julie Klingenberger, President of the FWAC PTA, detailed how constructing and marketing a program called F.B.I. (Fathers Being Involved) helped them to add close to 1,200 dads to their member list — an impressive 30% increase.

Strong Fathers, Strong Families is part of the new program called F.B.I. Take the time to bring this program into your local schools and community.  Visit Florida’s PTA website and find out more about how you can get involved.

How do you get fathers to become more engaged with their children’s education? All you have to do is ask.


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Sue Scheff: PTA Announces Partnership with Facebook

Collaboration committed to educating kids, parents and teachers about responsible and safe Internet use
Memphis, Tenn. and Palo Alto, Calif. – June 10, 2010 – Today, National PTA and Facebook announced a formal collaboration to promote responsible and safe Internet use to kids, parents and teachers. Together, National PTA and Facebook will establish a comprehensive program that will provide information, support and news to encourage citizenship online, reduce cyberbullying and advance Internet safety and security.

The partnership is founded on the belief that awareness is essential to supporting safe and responsible Internet use. Thus, in addition to creating comprehensive and engaging resources, PTA and Facebook are committing to aggressively promoting Internet safety information to their respective audiences. National PTA will use its Website (, and actively reach out to the 24,000 local PTAs across the country with a goal of reaching every American public school. Facebook will raise awareness of the resources among the hundreds of millions of parents, teachers and children using its service through an in-kind Facebook commitment equivalent to $1 million and promotion on other parts of the site, including the safety center.

The announcement kicks off the National PTA convention in Memphis, Tenn. which marks the 40-year anniversary of the union of two parent associations dedicated to children and when the National PTA became a desegregated association.  At the convention, PTA is reaffirming its commitment to closing the achievement gap between students of different ethnicities and economic backgrounds.  Recognizing that disparities exist not only in students’ access to technology but also in their access to related education materials, the partnership extends these efforts.  As part of the agreement, both PTA and Facebook are committed to working to shrink the digital divide, by reaching families, regardless of income or race and providing them with tools and resources to keep them digitally smart on-line.

“Our vision is that each child, parent and teacher will have the knowledge and tools they need to harness the power of the Internet effectively – and safely,” says Charles J. “Chuck” Saylors, National PTA President. “Today, as we kick off National PTA’s convention in Memphis, we are announcing a partnership that will provide parents all across the nation with the knowledge, tools and resources they need to keep their children safe in this ever-changing technological society.”

“Nothing is more important to us than the safety and well being of the people, especially the many teenagers, who use Facebook,” says Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer of Facebook. “Only through the constant and concerted effort of parents, teachers, law enforcement and industry can we keep kids safe and help them develop into tomorrow’s leaders. We are proud to be working with National PTA toward that goal.”

The partnership builds on National PTA’s 114-year history of advocacy on behalf of children and Facebook’s efforts to create a trusted environment for its more than 400 million users. As was the case with the recently redesigned Facebook Safety Center, Facebook and PTA will consult with many child safety, education and technology experts to collect, build and maintain a comprehensive set of multi-media education resources for this initiative. The process will include significant input from Facebook’s global Safety Advisory Board.

To stay up to date on the initiative visit the PTA’s Facebook page at and the Facebook in Education page at

About Facebook
Founded in February 2004, Facebook’s mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected. Anyone can sign up for Facebook and interact with the people they know in a trusted environment. Facebook is a privately held company and is headquartered in Palo Alto, Calif. 

About National PTA
National PTA® comprises millions of families, students, teachers, administrators, and business and community leaders devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of parent involvement in schools. PTA is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit association that prides itself on being a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and communities, and a strong advocate for public education. Membership in PTA is open to anyone who wants to be involved and make a difference for the education, health, and welfare of children and youth.

Sue Scheff: Gay Teens

Homosexuality can be a sensitive subject, however  today there are many resources to help educate parents and teens on sexuality.  No matter what your beliefs are, teens will be teens and going through puberty is not easy, whether you are gay or straight, life has challenges.  However society can be harsh when they are not tolerant to different lifestyles.

This is not about right or wrong, it is about differences.  Differences is what makes the world go round and makes our country a wonderful place to live.  Freedoms to be who you are and be proud of it.

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?

During the month of June as Gay Pride Month is recognized, if your teen is struggling with their sexuality or you know someone that is having a difficult time, be a friend.  Be understanding. You don’t always have to agree with others, but being caring is being non-judgmental.

Parents play a crucial role in teaching their children about the negative impact of bullying and harassment as well as teaching tolerance. 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.

Take the time to think before you speak.

Watch video.