Sticks and Stones: New Program Designed to Bring Parents and Teenagers Closer

bookSticksStonesThe Sticks & Stones Seven-Week Program bridges the communication gap between parents and teenagers. The Program helps parents and teens learn how to work together to communicate more effectively and build a stronger bond.
Parents are always looking for new and creative ways to get their teens to communicate with them. Author Meaghan Roberts has just released her new program designed specifically to help parents create an environment where teenagers feel comfortable opening up. The Program consists of two eBooks, Sticks & Stones and My Rock. Sticks & Stones is a self-help guide for teens concerning daily issues they deal with such as bullying, self-esteem and peer pressure. The guide is also an e-journal where teens can privately write their thoughts, feelings and questions. The purpose is to create a safe outlet for teens to express themselves. They will read one chapter a week and spend the remainder of the week reflecting and writing about what they learned. My Rock is a supplemental guide that gives parents insight on what their teens are reading each week as well as communicative skills to help facilitate a conversation with their teens. Each week, a day prior to reading a new chapter, parents and teens will meet to discuss what their teens have learned and any questions they have.

The Program is safe, secure and private.
Meaghan developed the Sticks & Stones Seven-Week Program because traditional parenting books offer advice to parents but none to teens. When parents apply the advice, their teens have no idea where the change is coming from. Teenagers are no longer children and can no longer be treated like children. The only way a parent-teen relationship can develop is if both parties are involved. The Sticks & Stones program encourages parents and teens to work together to build trust as well as prepare teens for conversations they will have with their parents.
The Sticks & Stones Program is available only at www.mysticksandstones.com
Contact Information
Meaghan@mysticksandstones.com
www.mysticksandstones.com

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Road to Recovery March 2012

You may know someone that needs the road to recovery, but unless they ask for directions it is likely they are not ready to get on the road.

Road to Recovery March 2012 is here!

We know that almost 1 in 10 Americans struggle with a substance abuse disorder and 1 in 5 Americans have a mental illness.  Treatment and recovery are a pathway forward.

The National Recovery Month (Recovery Month) campaign offers help and hope not only for individuals receiving recovery services and in recovery but also for families, loved ones, and friends. The benefits of treatment and recovery-oriented services and supports in behavioral health ripple out across entire communities throughout our Nation, proving there are effective treatments and that people do recover.

As the Road to Recovery series kicks off its 12th season, this episode will highlight the many accomplishments of the 2011 Recovery Month campaign and look forward to a successful September 2012 Recovery Month.

Please visit http://www.recoverymonth.govfor more information.Join me on Facebook  and follow me on Twitter for more information and educational articles on parenting today’s teenagers.

Red River Academy – Horizon Academy – A Parent’s True Story 2012

My story has been told and validated on many news networks.

Mention my name to any “sales rep” of Red River Academy or affiliate of their programs (see the listings here) and you will find out fast that I am not their favorite person.  They will send you to some very ugly websites about me, but will neglect to tell you I not only defeated them in a jury trial and in the appellate court, I also won an $11.3M jury verdict for damages of Internet defamation of all those ugly sites they are sending you to.  The funny thing about the Internet, it is the world’s largest tattoo machine, and like a tattoo – some things are hard to get removed – and trust me, I have tried.  However I have been legally vindicated.  And God knows they have tried to bury me – virtually and literally – but here we are going into 2012 – and my story is still going strong.  Read on….

As a victim of the WWASPS organization – I am often called or receive many emails about our (my daughter and I) experiences with them.  Obviously not pleasant.  Though I am happy to say the program she was at, Carolina Springs Academy, which attempted to go through a name change to Magnolia Christian Academy (or School) depending on the day you Googled it, is finally closed – it has been rumored some of the staff is now at their affiliate program – Red River Academy and/or Horizon Academy.

Let me be clear for legal purposes – these are rumors – but if I were placing my child in program, I personally wouldn’t take any chances – and furthermore, Red River Academy is clearly named in the current lawsuit which is extremely disturbing with allegations of fraud, abuse, neglect and much more – (click here) that is current.

So when the “sales rep” tells you that “Sue Scheff” is a disgruntled parent – I say – YES, I was – you put my daughter in a box for 17 hours, she was mentally and emotionally abused – food and sleep deprived – I was complete defrauded – and she also missed out on 6 months of education.  None of which I had signed up for.  Grant it, this was 10 years ago – a lot has changed – but those original owners haven’t – so in my humble opinion – I wouldn’t trust any of their programs with my pets….. BTW: I am the only parent to have defeated WWASPS in a jury trial.  Most of the other (many) lawsuits have settled out of court with silence agreements.  I don’t have one, which is why I can still share my story – which is why I get slimed online – which is why their sales reps have all sorts of stories about me – including “the jury made a mistake” – neglecting to tell you I won the appellate court too.  No one condones child abuse – period.

I have been called a crusader (and not in a flattering way) though I take it that way.  I have made it my mission to find the better programs and schools, since I do know what it is like to be at your wit’s end.  I know what parents need help. I am not against residential therapy, which brings us to many  of my stalkers that were formally abused in programs that believe all programs should be closed down.  That is being extreme – they are not a parent trying to save their child’s life and future.

I will share with you that there are more safe and quality programs than there are bad ones – it is just about doing your homework and research.  Today you are more fortunate than I was – you have more access to information and you can learn from my mistakes and  my knowledge.

Please – take 10 minutes to read my story and see the list of programs that are and were once affiliated with Carolina Springs Academy – and from there, you make your own choices for your child.

I had one parent that almost went to Red River Academy that actually said the sales rep said they could have their teen “extracted” within a few hours?  Extracted?  Really – is your child a tooth?  Please don’t get rushed into a quick decision – this is a major emotional and financial decision.

My organization is Parents’ Universal Resource Experts – and no matter what those “sales reps” or the Internet fiction – I don’t own, operate or manage any schools or programs!  We are about educating parents when they are looking for help for their at risk teen…. Don’t get scammed when you are at your wit’s end.

Oh – and when these “sales reps” send out these defamatory links about me – another FACT they neglect to tell you is I won the landmark case for Internet Defamation that awarded me $11.3M in damages for what was said about me online!  Lies and twisted facts!  Here is my recent appearance on Anderson Cooper.

This is strictly my opinion from my own experiences and you are free to make your own decisions…..

After school and Your Daughter

Yes, schools are opening throughout our country and another academic year with the normal peer pressure and stress of being a teenager.

What are you doing after school? Many girls will be hitting a transitional point in their lives in a few weeks. Some will attend new schools, some will be away from home for the first time and others could be leaving their summer loves….

Although women have made gains in education and employment in the equal rights war, they’re still losing the self-esteem war. Girls’ self-esteem peaks when they are about 9 years old, and then takes a nosedive. Although the media, peers, and pop culture influence children, parents still hold more sway than they think when it comes to having an impact on a daughter’s developing self-esteem.

Girls are faced with an onslaught of influences daily- most of them not the ones we’d like. In fact, a national survey of girls’ use of social media released by Girl Scouts of the USA (Who’s That Girl: Self Image in the 21st Century, 2010) finds that girls with low self-esteem are more likely to be susceptible to negative experiences on social networking sites than are girls with high self-esteem.

As parents and mentors, we want to help our daughters develop a strong sense of self, learn about the benefits of a balanced diet and physical activity, develop healthy relationships, promote confidence and well-being among While having fun.

Wondering how to enhance your daughter’s school year? The Girl Scouts’ flourishing new leadership program Journeys is at the core of the nearly 100-year-old organization’s transformation and a key benefit of this latest offering is building a strong sense of self. Building self-esteem does not happen overnight, but research shows that one way to accomplish this is through the development of leadership skills and competencies.

For more information go to www.girscouts.org!

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Is your teen ready for college?

How much preparation is your teen doing to get ready for college?  Besides dreaming about a new freedom, are they taking the education seriously?  The coursework can be different and very challenging to some.  Keeping your teen motivated in a positive direction is important.

Source: Connect with Kids

College Prep or Not?

We found that when students take those upper-level courses, beyond Algebra Two … it greatly increased their chances of being ready for college.”

– Jon Erickson, ACT Educational Services

As high school seniors all over the country work to complete their college applications, a troubling new study called the 2010 Deloitte Education Survey reveals that slightly less than one-third of high school educators feel their students are prepared for college when they leave high school. In fact, findings support that a third of college students are taking remedial courses in college.

Twins Lauren and Stefanie are college freshman. Both of them say their high school wasn’t all that demanding.

Lauren says: “I saw teachers who lacked willingness to really be there. Teachers who I thought didn’t really seem to care about preparing their students.” And she notes, “I didn’t see a lot of incentives in my school for students to be academically motivated. We didn’t really get any kind of rewards or anything like that for being motivated.”

Stefanie had a similar experience. “Most of my friends,” she says, “were in what was called on-level classes. And the on-level classes were not intense. (They) did not require much effort at all … didn’t require attendance, even.”

That leaves many experts wondering … are high school kids prepared for college?

Jon Erickson, vice president of educational services for ACT, which administers the annual college entrance exam, explains, “If students aren’t ready for college, especially as measured by the college readiness benchmarks, their odds of either not getting into college, of going into remediation or not doing well once in college or of not graduating are greatly increased.”

According to the Deloitte 2010 Education Survey, more than one-third of college freshman need remedial courses to catch up. And a staggering 92 percent of teachers surveyed say they don’t have the data to help them measure how their students are doing in college – to make adjustments to their coursework.

Experts say, the way to get ready for college is for high school kids to take the toughest courses they can.

“We found that when students take those upper-level courses beyond Algebra Two… the upper science courses like physics,” says Erickson, “it greatly increased their chances of being ready for college, regardless of how they do in high school.”

And he says parents can play a huge role in motivating their kids. “We find that if they help their students choose their four-year course plan very early in eighth-grade, that’s a great benefit to students.”

Stefanie and Lauren say they were encouraged to take those higher-level courses, and it’s paying off. Both are doing well in their first semester in college as they head into final exams.

“I’ve always been very into my education and wanting to push for success,” says Lauren, “and my parents always placed a big emphasis on my schoolwork.” Stefanie says, “I really feel that I was prepared, that I know what my teachers expect of me.”

What We Need To Know

Schools nationwide are urged to strengthen the high school core curriculum to help improve students’ readiness for college and the workforce. Students in K-8 who are not learning the foundational skills for rigorous high school coursework should be identified earlier and provided with supportive interventions, thus preparing them for higher-level math and science courses such as trigonometry, pre-calculus, chemistry and physics.

A new study by ACT, Inc. reveals that racial and income gaps in college success rates can be narrowed by ensuring that all students take a rigorous core curriculum in high school. The report, entitled “Mind the Gaps: How College Readiness Narrows Achievement Gaps in College Success,” calls for college and career readiness standards that are aligned among K-12, postsecondary education, and workforce training programs. It also suggests that student readiness for college and career should be monitored early and often.

The U.S. Department of Education prepared this list of recommended high school coursework for college-bound students. The specific classes listed here are examples of the types of courses students can take:

  • English for four years. Types of classes include American Literature, Composition, English Literature and World Literature.
  • Mathematics: Three to four years. Types of classes include Algebra I, Algebra II, Calculus, Geometry, Precalculus, Trigonometry. History and Geography for two to three years. Types of classes include Civics, Geography, U.S. History, U.S. Government, World History, World Cultures.
  • Laboratory Science for two to four years. Types of classes include Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science, Physics.
  • Foreign Language for two to four years.
  • Visual and Performing Arts for at least one year. Types of classes include Art, Dance, Drama or Music.
  • Challenging Electives for one to three years. Types of classes can include Communications, Computer Science, Economics, Psychology, Statistics.

Students and their parents should enlist the support of the high school guidance counselor. Questions to ask can include:

  • What basic academic courses do you recommend for students who want to go to college?
  • How many years of each academic subject does the high school require for graduation?
  • What elective courses do you recommend for college-bound students?
  • Can students who are considering college get special help or tutoring?
  • What activities can students do at home and over the summers to strengthen their preparation for college?
  • How much homework is expected of students preparing for college?
  • What do different colleges require in terms of high school grades and SAT or ACT scores?

Resources

Sue Scheff: DrugWatch – Knowing Your Teen’s Prescriptions

An important guest post from DrugWatch.com:

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: Teens and Lying – Is it ever acceptable?

To be honest or not to be honest.  We all teach our children to be honest, however is there a time when telling a “small” or “white” lie is o-kay?  Read what that experts have to say:

Source: Connect with Kids

Teens and Lying

In our culture, truth is such a premium in the public discourse. I think that emphasizes the importance of finding it and promoting it within ourselves, and in others.”

– Hal Thorsrud, Ph.D, assistant professor of philosophy, Agnes Scott College

As final exams and academic evaluations approach in schools nationwide, consider this finding from a study conducted by the Josephson Institute of Ethics: Cheaters in high school are far more likely as adults to lie to their spouses, customers and employers, and to cheat on expense reports and insurance claims.

How many lies do you tell a week? How about a day? According to an Associated Press-Ipsos poll, ten percent of those surveyed said they had probably told a lie in the past week. 65 percent said sometimes, lying is morally justified.

So, is there such thing as a “good lie“?

A good lie is something that I guess boosts someone’s morale – makes someone feel better,” says 15-year-old Lily Muntzing.

16-year-old Javonna disagrees. “No lie is a good lie,” she says, “but if I was to tell a lie, I would tell, you know, a white lie because another lie – a major lie – would escalate into something bigger.”

What do the experts say?

“Lying is morally wrong,” says Hal Thorsrud, an assistant professor of philosophy at Agnes Scott College. “However,” he laughs, “there are, I believe, cases in which lying is either morally irrelevant – trivial lies you might tell, to save someone’s feelings – or cases in which it is useful to lie for the sake of a good cause.”

He says the classic example of a good cause is the story of the murderer at your door, asking the whereabouts of the person they’re looking to kill. In that scenario, it’s perfectly moral to lie about the location of the intended victim.

“The crucial caveat here though is, if you are thinking about telling a lie for the sake of a good cause [there are] some very important things to consider,” he says. “First, don’t deceive yourself. Be sure that you’re telling a lie and also be aware that the lie is not the good thing – it’s what you’re hoping to achieve by that lie. And be very cautious if that lie happens to coincide with your self- interests.”

That means, he says, that lying to your parents to get out of trouble doesn’t count as a good cause.

16-year-old Laura Lion once lied to her mom about where she was going. “I told her that I was going to go spend the night at my friend’s house,” she says, “but I went to a concert instead, then went to a party. She found out, and grounded me for a month.”

Experts say that, for some teens, lying is a part of the struggle for independence.

“‘You’re not the boss of me’- it’s the war cry of every teenager, probably,” says Thorsrud. “Even though that autonomy and that freedom is very scary, it’s so desirable. And it drives kids to do just about anything to get it.”

Ironically, experts say one of the best ways to teach teens the value of honesty and moral integrity is when the teen makes a mistake – or when they’re caught in a lie.

“Sometimes the best way to learn about integrity is to be out of integrity – and to experience the pain and the shame and the restlessness and the feeling of not feeling good inside,” explains Dr. Tim Jordan, a pediatric developmental behavioral health specialist. “To me, that is the best deterrent.”

Javonna’s learned her lesson that way: “It’s a horrible feeling ’cause you know that you lied, and you know that you told this big old lie that everybody knows that you told.”

Laura says what worked for her was her mom’s disappointment: “It’s more so when my mom says, ‘well, I wish you could have trusted me – and if you’re honest with me I’ll give you more lenience.’”

Tips for Parents
Dishonesty may seem like a minor issue in comparison to other adolescent problems, but it is rooted in an attitude of disrespect – for others, for authority and for one’s values. According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, many children begin to lie at around four and five years old. Children of that age like to make up stories and blur the line between fantasy and reality. Older children begin to tell lies in a more self-serving manner, either to get out of trouble or to protect their privacy.

Parents should always look for those teachable moments in which the importance of honesty and truthfulness can be discussed. Use positive reinforcement and praise your child for being honest. Also, model honest behavior. Teach your children to be truthful by showing them honesty. If you have lied to your child in the past, you may have some issues to deal with beyond simply setting consequences. If there is one behavior that turns teens off, it is adult hypocrisy. This is not to say parents must be perfect, but you also cannot say to your child, “I’m adult so I can lie, but you can’t.” Teens simply don’t buy that argument.

If you find that your child is lying, try to determine why they thought lying was the best choice in this situation. If there is a reason why your child felt compelled to lie, you want to know it so you can possibly eliminate any misunderstandings. Did your child lie about failing a test because he or she thought you would be angry? Perhaps he needs additional help. Did your child lie about a party because alcohol would be present, which is unacceptable to your family? You may find your child lied simply because they knew the behavior was wrong and they didn’t want to get caught. This will mean you need to let them know in very clear terms what behaviors are unacceptable and what the consequences will be, not only for repeating that behavior, but for lying about it. These are two separate events that will lead to separate sets of consequences.

References
■American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
■National Association for the Education of Young Children
■Josephson Institute of Ethics
■By Parents-For Parents