Parents Universal Resource Experts – Sue Scheff – Teen and Adult Gossip

Source:  OnTeensToday
Gossip. That’s all you seem to hear about nowadays in a crowded hallway at High School, middle school, or even a small form of it in elementary school. “She said this, he did that,and they reacted this way.” Can you hear yourself?

Everything you hear from one person to another that does not come directly from that individual is up for revamping, primping, and complete destruction from the original story. Oh, sure it’s fun to hear about an embarrassing story which happened to someone else and in some cases, it raises your own self esteem. How could she have done that? What was she thinking? I would never do anything like that. Poor kid.
The secret is that not only do kids and teenagers gossip; adults are in on the act as well.

I dare you to try to walk down town and window shop. Meander by the clothing stores, and slide into a book store. Hundreds of rows of shelves are dedicated to novels that range from romantic to tragedy. Look towards the back of the store and you’ll find the leading source of gossip: magazines.

Written works such as “Teen People”, “People”, “Star”, and “Ok!” Magazine have a little if not all gossip in each issue. Remember Britney Spear’s emotional wreck when she shaved her head? How did you hear about that? What about Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s baby photos which were anticipated for months?

Each article has a speck of truth hidden behind layers of polished-up revisions; does anybody ever ask why an event may have happened or how the person being talked about feels?

In a world that is so focused on having money, being glamorous, and being talked about, gossip is inevitable. Imagine being talked about, and stalked 24/7; Now focus your thoughts back onto the school scene.

No matter the scenerio, gossip is there and is hurtful. Potential lies are being spread by the minute and a person’s reputation is being damaged. Stop fluffing up stories. Resist listening to tales about someone’s mistake wide-eyed and take all of the information with a grain of salt.

The only way to know the real–or at least most accurate side to a story is to strike up a conversation with the victim.

* Maybe one day you’ll be saved from embarrassment if you show respect to the other person.

Parents Universal Resource Experts – Sue Scheff – Addictions and Inhalants

From the Sunshine Coast’s Health Center Blog:

Daniel Jordan raises some interesting questions in his summary of an addictions presentation by
Dr. Carlton Erickson, Ph.D., Professor of Pharmacology, and director of the Addiction Science & Research Center in the College of Pharmacy at the University of Texas at Austin.

What are your perspectives or thoughts on his following two points?

1. Inhalants and Addiction:
“Dr. Erickson calls the likelihood that a person will become dependent on a drug its “dependence liability.” Some drugs have a dependence liability while others do not.
The criteria for dependence liability is how it acts on the mesolimbic dopamine system. Caffeine, antidepressants, and newer anti-seizure medications do not have dependence liability. However, some drugs do and the following chart shows that a certain percentage of people (depending on the drug) will become dependent *:

Drug / Percentage of People Who Become Dependent
Nicotine – 32%, Heroin – 23%, Cocaine – 17%, Alcohol – 15%, Stimulants – 11%, Cannabis – 9%, Sedatives – 9%, Psychedelics – 5%, Inhalants – 4%.

Source: Anthony, J.C., Warner, L.A., & Kessler, R.C., (1994). Comparative epidemiology of dependence on tobacco, alcohol, controlled substances, and inhalants: Basic findings from the national comorbidity survey. Experimental & Clinical Psychopharmacology, 2, 244-268.”

2. Use the term “Abuse” in Inhalant Abuse:
“I was particularly fascinated by Dr. Erickson’s claim that many of the words, or terminology, that the general public and the treatment field use to describe drinking and drugging are leading to continued prejudice and discrimination in North American culture. This stigmatizing, Dr. Erickson argues, is a big part of why governments are not providing adequate funding for addiction research, prevention, and education

Abuse” is a Perjorative Term and Should be Retired. In his book, The Science of Addiction, Dr. Erickson calls the term “abuse” the number 1 myth that prevails in the treatment field or in the minds of the public. The word abuse * is an inappropriate term for several reasons, such as:

  • the term being used, for centuries, as a morally sinful act such as child abuse, sexual abuse, spousal abuse
  • the implication that alcohol, an object, is being abused by someone just like a child is being abused by someone (a preferred term in Europe is misuse)
  • the use of the term substance abuse does not distinguish between voluntary use (”misuse”) and uncontrolled use (”dependence”) similar to the generalized use of the term “addiction”

“By continuing to refer to people as drug, alcohol, or substance abusers, according to Bill White *, “misstates the nature of their condition and calls for their social rejection, sequestration, and punishment.”

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Parents Universal Resource Experts (Sue Scheff) Parent-Teen Sex Talk

Source: Connect with Kids

“I always get a little bit nervous because I always worry about what they might ask me about my own life.”

– Judy Crim, Mother

When 12-year-old Sean Crim has a question about sex he asks his mother. “I would probably rather get information about sex from my parents.  They always tell me the truth and they’ve never really lied to me about anything,” he says.

But for his mom, talking about sex isn’t easy.  “I always get a little bit nervous because I always worry about what they might ask me about my own life,” says Judy Crim. 

It’s an issue for lots of parents.  If your children ask about your life before marriage, how would you answer? Sean’s mom says it’s happened to her.  

Judy says, “We talk about what was going on when I was a teenager, what teenagers were actively doing.  And they’ll say mom did you do any of that?”

It’s an awkward question. Experts say if you are too uncomfortable…you don’t have to answer.

Leola Reis of Planned Parenthood says, “They are still the parent and some of that is not really appropriate.  I don’t think you need to lie, I think you can withhold that information.  ‘This conversation is not really about me and what I did.  It’s what my hopes are for you. And let me tell you some of the things I’ve learned.’”

But if you decide to talk about your past, experts say don’t lie, and remember that you don’t have to say too much.  Reis suggests sentences like ”I’m not really comfortable with some of the things I did as a young person.’”

Still, your past can be a lesson for kids about avoiding mistakes.  Judy Crim says, “I can also offer them if I made a choice to do something, what regret did I have to live with? What guilt do I have to live with? And how did that affect my life?”

Tips for Parents

Recent studies have shown a decrease in the prevalence of many sexual behaviors among high school students throughout the United States, including sexual intercourse. Further, studies from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show the percentage of sexually active students who used a condom at last intercourse continued to increase.

Even though the number of sexually active teens is in decline, the percentage of sexually active teens is still alarming. Consider the following statistics taken from a recent Youth Risk Behavior Survey:

  • Nationwide, 47.8% of students had ever had sexual intercourse (Table 61). Overall, the prevalence of having had sexual intercourse was higher among male (49.8%) than female (45.9%) students; higher among black male (72.6%) and Hispanic male (58.2%) than black female (60.9%) and Hispanic female (45.8%) students, respectively; and higher among 9th-grade male (38.1%) than 9th-grade female (27.4%) students.
  • 7.1% of students had had sexual intercourse for the first time before age 13 years
  • 14.9% of students had had sexual intercourse with four or more persons during their life
  • 35.0% of students had had sexual intercourse with at least one person during the 3 months before the survey
  • Among the 35.0% of currently sexually active students nationwide, 61.5% reported that either they or their partner had used a condom during last sexual intercourse

Open communication and accurate information from parents increase the chance that teens will postpone sex. According to the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, in talking with your child or adolescent, it is helpful to:

  • Encourage your child to talk and ask questions.
  • Maintain a calm and non-critical atmosphere for discussions.
  • Use words that are understandable and comfortable.
  • Try to determine your child’s level of knowledge and understanding.
  • Keep your sense of humor and don’t be afraid to talk about your own discomfort.
  • Relate sex to love, intimacy, caring and respect for oneself and one’s partner.
  • Be open in sharing your values and concerns.
  • Discuss the importance of responsibility for choices and decisions.
  • Help your child to consider the pros and cons of choices.

By developing open, honest and ongoing communication about responsibility, sex and choice, parents can help their youngsters learn about sex in a healthy and positive manner.


  • Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
  • American Social Health Association
  • American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

Parents Universal Resource Experts (Sue Scheff) ADHD Awareness Week

This is a great website and informational resource for parents with ADD/ADHD students – being an educated parent helps you to help your child!  As a parent with an ADHD child, I have learned so much here. 


Happy ADHD Awareness Week!


As you know, this week is all about spreading attention-deficit truth and support. So, to that end, ADDitude has created a new ADHD Information Center that we hope people will use all year to…

  • Dispel common myths about ADHD
  • Fight ADHD stigmas
  • Explain the facts about ADHD
  • Find support from other ADHD adults and parents
  • Revel in all the great things about ADHD

We hope you will share our ADHD Information Center with your readers during this ADHD Awareness Week, and also pass along the following personal diary entry from author, ADHD spokesman and ADDitude contributor Jonathan Mooney:


“Cheers, fellow ADDers! Be proud of the gifts ADD affords you: a gusto for life, a capacity to dream large, the ability to set goals — and the energy to meet them. In being comfortable with yourself, you can change how the world perceives ADD and recognizes its strengths.

This September, recount your successes and what makes you stand out from the crowd—like the time you put your mind to it and ran an eight-minute-mile marathon or completed the Sunday crossword puzzle before your second cup of coffee.

Have a sense of humor about your ADD: Toast yourself at dinner for not having misplaced your keys in the morning or for having remembered to take your debit card out of the ATM. Let yourself—and others—laugh to take the pressure off of being perfect.

By celebrating your small feats, you will be able to tackle bigger challenges. Even a simple change in language can transform your self-esteem and others’ perception of your accomplishments. Use “and” more than “but.”

For example, I could say, “I finished this article, but it was three weeks late.” That statement discounts my accomplishment, as if the final product were flawed. I prefer, “I finished this article, and it was three weeks late.” The second statement is equally true, and it doesn’t diminish all of the work I put into it. Next time, I can say, “I will be on time!”

Use this month—this year, every year—to share your pride over the gifts you have. The world’s appreciation of ADD depends on your feeling good about yourself, so tell your friends, family—even the bagger at your local grocery store—all about your condition, especially if they know little about it.”

To read the remainder of this article, “Smile – It’s ADHD Awareness Month!” visit


Parents Universal Resource Experts (Sue Scheff) Teen Runaways

Teen Runaways are on the increase. Many teens think that the grass is greener on the other side.

They are confused and following the crowd of peers making poor choices. Teens want to escape the “rules of a household” and we as parents, become their number one enemy. They feel that they are fearless and can prove they can survive without their parents and our rules. Rules are put in place for a reason; we love our children and want them to grow up with dignity and respect we try to instill in them. Their flight plan, in some ways, is a cry for attention. Many times runaways are back home shortly, however there are other situations that can be more serious. This is not to say any child that runs away is not serious, but when this becomes a habit and is their way of rebelling, a parent needs to intervene.

So many times we hear how “their friend’s parents” allow a much later curfew or are more lenient, and you are the worst parents in the world. This is very common and the parent feels helpless, hopeless and alone. It is all part of the manipulation the teens put us through. With their unappreciative thoughts of us, they will turn to this destructive behavior, which, at times, results in them leaving the home.

Some teens go to a friend’s house or relative they believe they can trust and make up stories about their home life. This is very common, a parent has to suffer the pain and humiliation that it causes to compound it with the need to get your child help that they need. If you fear your child is at risk of running, the lines of communication have to be open. We understand this can be difficult, however if possible needs to be approached in a positive manner. Teen help starts with communication.

If you feel this has escalated to where you cannot control them, it may be time for placement and possibly having your child escorted. Please know that the escorts (transports) are all licensed and very well trained in removing children from their home into safe programs. These escorts are also trained counselors that will talk to your child all the way, and your child will end his/her trip with a new friend and a better understanding of why their parents had to resort to this measure.

Helpful Hint if you child has runaway and you are using all your local resources – offer a cash reward to their friends privately, of course promising their anonymity and hopefully someone will know your child’s whereabouts.

Having a teen runaway is very frightening and it can bring you to your wits end. Try to remain positive and hopeful and do all you can to help understand why your child is acting out this way. These are times when parents need to seek help for themselves. Don’t be ashamed to reach out to others. We are all about parents helping parents.

Learn more at and

Is your college student an asterisk? By Grace

The asterisk, *, means a footnote. In sports, it also means a fake, and refers to one who uses steroids.

These days, we hear about it all the time, of famous athletes being caught or admitting that they used performance-enhancement drugs. Unfortunately, this drug abuse also happens in college campuses, where the pressure to excel in a sports or varsity can push a young person to take steroids.

The AD Council has a new campaign called “Don’t Be An Asterisk” to make steroid use socially unacceptable, and get parents, teens and educators become more aware of this kind of drug abuse.

How can you tell if your teen, or someone close to you, is using performance-enhancing drugs? What can parents do to prevent or deal with the issue of steroids? The symptoms of steroid abuse are:


  • Rapid weight gain and muscle development
  • Acne flare up
  • Fluid retention
  • Jaundice (yellow tinge to eyes and skin)
  • Mood swings and depressed moods
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Premature balding

What can parents do?

  • Teach your child to resist social pressures to try drugs like steroids.
  • Be informed about steroids and it abuse.
  • Work through self-esteem issues with your child.

Got questions? Visit this fact sheet on steroid use.  To find out more about the campaign, visit Don’t Be Afraid of the Bee

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Teen Body Image

As school is open throughout our country, teens all over will have to confront peer pressure and in many instances, it involves their body image. Do they fit in? Are they too heavy? Too thin? Parents need to be aware of their kids and how they are feeling about themselves both emotionally and psychically to help prevent peer pressure from controlling their teen’s behavior.

Body Image in Teens by Sarah Maria

If you’re in high school, most of your friends are probably on a diet. A recent study shows that 90% of junior and senior girls are on a diet regularly, even though only 10-15% are actually overweight.

The modeling industry also promotes the idea that you need to diet and exercise religiously. Fashion models are actually thinner than 98% of American women. An average woman stands 5′4″ tall and weighs about 140 lbs, while the average fashion model is a towering 5′11″ tall and weighs under 117 lbs.

In reality no amount of dieting, exercise and discipline can earn you a magazine cover-ready body because those photos have been Photo Shopped, doctored and airbrushed. Don’t waste your time attempting to be what you are not, instead; focus on cultivating who you are!
Body Image TipsAs you progress through puberty and your high school years, your body changes as fast as your favorite ringtones. But learning to appreciate your body and have positive self image is a task that few adults have even mastered. Here are some tips to help you learn to love yourself:

Read entire article here: