Parents Universal Resource Experts – Sue Scheff – Social Networking for Kids

kiddzchattIs your child, under the age of 13 and wanting to be part of Facebook or MySpace?

Check out a Social Networking site for younger kids to chat safely and parents to be involved.
Visit KiddzChat http://www.kiddzchat.com/default.aspx and explore the many features that your kids could enjoy and you could feel at ease.
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Parents Universal Resource Experts – Sue Scheff – Getting Teen Help

we_are_parents_tooParent’s Universal Resource Experts, Inc. (P.U.R.E.™) is an organization that was founded in 2001 by Sue Scheff.  For the past several years Parent’s Universal Resource’s has assisted families with valuable information and resources for their children and teens that are at risk.  Teens that are struggling with today’s peer pressure, experimenting with drugs and alcohol, and simply good kids starting to make bad choices.  We have many very satisfied families that have used our services.  Please take a moment to read some of our testimonials.

Whether you are seeking Boarding Schools, Therapeutic Boarding Schools, Residential Treatment Centers, Wilderness Programs, Christian Schools, Summer Programs, Military Schools and more, Parent’s Universal Resource’s can offer you options to explore to help educate you in a very important decision for your child and family.  We invite you to fill out a Free Consultation Form for more information.

Parent’s Universal Resource Expert’s™ are parents helping parents.  As a parent that experienced and survived a difficult teen, we believe that desperate parents are at high risk of making rash and detrimental decisions in choosing the best placement for their child.  Please take a moment to read my story – “A Parent’s True Story” – which is one the reasons this organization was created. 

As a member of the Better Business Bureau for many years we are an organization that prides ourselves in helping others and bringing families back together

There are many Doctors, Attorney’s, Therapists, Police Departments, Schools, Guidance Counselors, and other professionals that refer Parent’s Universal Resource’s to families.  In many cases, after a family has used our service, they recommend us to their friends and relatives.  We have built our reputation on trust and putting families first.  At Parent’s Universal Resource’s we believe in bringing families back together.

In searching for schools and programs we look for the following:

  • Helping Teens – not Harming Them
  • Building them up – not Breaking them down
  • Positive and Nurturing Environments – not Punitive
  • Family Involvement in Programs – not Isolation from the teen
  • Protect Children – not Punish themIf you are a parent struggling with your teen today, get help, don’t be a parent in denial.  I speak with many parents that believe it is only “smoking pot” – but remember, marijuana is the gateway to other drugs.  Is your child very intelligent, yet failing in school?  Not working up to their academic potential? Underachiever? Dropping out of sports or activities they once loved?  Find out why.
  • witsRead more about my journey with my daughter in Wit’s End! Advice and Resources for Saving Your Out Of Control Teen.

    Learn from my mistakes, gain from my knowledge. You are not alone.

    Parents Universal Resource Experts – Sue Scheff: How to Keep Your Kids Safe Online

    forbesSource: Forbes.com

    Author: Andy Greenberg

    How To Keep Kids Safe Online

    Every parent worries about the power of the Internet to expose kids to online predators. Less often discussed: tech’s power to expose kids to their own bad judgment.

    Earlier this month, the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy and Cosmogirl.com released a survey showing that two in five teens has sent sexually suggestive messages online. One in five has electronically sent or posted nude or semi-nude pictures or videos of themselves. And more than a third of teens in the survey say that those pictures tend to be shared beyond the intended recipient.

    teeninterkidsTeen exploitation online has long been a hot-button topic for tech-focused politics. Last year, popular teen social networks like MySpace and Facebook were the targets of investigations by several state attorneys generals seeking to purge sexual predators from the sites. MySpace responded by deleting the accounts of 29,000 users whose personal details match them with records of sex offenders, and Facebook is still undergoing a two-year investigation that will track incidents of pornography and sexual advances on the site.

    But Larry Magid, a board member of the Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the founder of Safekids.com and Connectsafely.org, argues that the focus on sexual predators on social networking sites is largely political grandstanding. Much less sensational, and far more common, he contends, are cases where kids simply post too much sensitive or compromising information about themselves online, leading to incidents of cyberbullying and embarrassment.

    Social networking sites make an easy scapegoat, he says. But even e-mail can be a source of trouble if kids aren’t careful. “Say a girl sends her boyfriend compromising photos. Two weeks later, he’s no longer her boyfriend, and two weeks after that, he’s angry at her and posts the photo online,” Magid says. “That’s not physically harmful, but it can be psychologically devastating to a young girl.

    myspaceThe answer, then, isn’t to engage in witch hunts on MySpace and Facebook, says Magid, but to better educate kids about online privacy. On that front, says Adam Thierer of the Progress and Freedom Foundation, parents and schools aren’t keeping up with the pace of technological culture. “We’re doing a horrendous job in this country of educating our kid about how to behave online,” he argues. “We give them so many messages about drinking, sex, even fatty foods. But when it comes to online safety, we throw them into the deep end of the pool.”

    Of course, the threat of sexual predators is real enough. Last year, 19-year-old Alicia Kozakiewicz testified to Congress’ judiciary committee about her experience as a victim of kidnapping and sexual abuse after being deceived online. Six years earlier, she had arranged a meeting with a friend she’d met online, who described “herself” as a 12-year-old redhead. Instead, she found Scott Tyree, a middle-aged man who kidnapped her, imprisoned her and abused her physically and sexually for days before she was rescued by FBI agents.

    “I discovered that the boogeyman is real, and that he lives on the Web,” she told Congress at a judiciary committee hearing called to consider toughening online sexual predator laws.

    But as nightmarish as Kozakiewicz story may be, it would be a mistake to focus only on these rare tragedies, says Magid. “I’m definitely not saying this didn’t happen, and that it’s not tragic. But we shouldn’t take this case and make this seem like a common occurrence,” Magid says. “This kind of thing is probably as rare as being molested by a member of Congress.”

    Instead of living in fear of Internet boogeymen, Magid and Thierer offer a few simple tips for filling the education gap surrounding online privacy. Most importantly, they say, talk to your kids about what should and shouldn’t be publicly posted on the Internet. Be sure they understand that personal details like addresses and phone numbers, as well as private photos, should stay offline.

    Also, consider placing any computers in the house in a “public” place, like the family room or living room, rather than a child’s bedroom. This tactic doesn’t just let parents keep Web browsing safe and open, it also helps parents limit the time kids spend online and encourages offline activities like sports or socializing.

    One tool Magid advises parents to use with caution, however, is Web filtering software like Net Nanny or Cybersitter, which block objectionable content online. For teens, he says, such software inspires resentment and only leads to kids looking for other sources of Internet access, like a friend’s computer. As cellphones become smarter, they may also offer kids a surreptitious avenue to the Web.

    For younger kids, an easier way to keep Web surfing safe may be an emerging group of social networking sites aimed at preteens. Disney’s (nyse: DIS – news – people )Club Penguin is a social network and virtual world for kids ages 6 to 14. On settings aimed at its youngest demographic, the game only allows players to communicate using pre-set phrases, making obscenities or other inappropriate content impossible. Even on its settings for older users, the site employs teams of moderators to identify and ban any user spouting less-than-innocent language.

    Another site that mimics MySpace for young teens and ‘tweens is Imbee.com. Imbee’s late creator, Jeanette Symons, who passed away in February, told Forbes.com last year that the site is designed to bring real-world friendships onto the Web, not vice versa. Only a child’s direct friends can view his or her profile, and parents are alerted whenever a new friend is added.

    facebook“Younger kids are seeing what older kids are doing with MySpace and Facebook, and of course, they want to mimic it. The problem is that they don’t have the concepts yet to be able to realistically protect themselves,” she told Forbes.com. “Imbee gives them social networking without the risks.”

    Symons created the site about two years ago, after her 6-year-old daughter demanded she be allowed to join MySpace. Symons wisely refused that request, and instead built her own social network, hosted on a server in her closet. Soon, neighborhood kids had joined, and today, the site has more than 50,000 registered accounts.

    Echoing Larry Magid, Symons believed that the rare threat of sexual predators had, in some ways, obscured the more common problem of kids’ indiscreetly publishing personal information on the Web.

    “I don’t realistically think that predators are much worse online than they are in real life,” Symons says. “The thing I worry about is that whatever kids publish today can stick with them for the rest of their lives. Once you publish on the Internet, it’s there for all to see.”

    Parents Universal Resource Experts – Sue Scheff – Teen Entrepeneurs

    With today’s economy teens and kids are watching or hearing about many of their families having to cut back and become more aware of what they are spending. As parents we need to encourage our kids to look at their future – build a foundation – nurture a dream. With today’s technology the ideas are always expanding. Check out this article and get your kids started in a positive direction!

    teenentrepSource: Connect with Kids

    “I’m a gigantic believer in the value of an entrepreneurial experience- if there’s any time in someone’s life when they ought to take a risk it’s when they are not saddled with an enormous number of financial and family responsibilities.”

    – Andrea Hershatter, Ph.D., M.B.A.

    When today’s teens talk about what they want to be when they grow up … the answer that is becoming more common than ever is:  my own boss.

    Like a lot of college freshmen, Sean Belnick has a job on the side. He works for a company that brings in more than 20-million dollars a year. It’s his company… he owns it.

    “We started off with a couple of orders a day and it just mushroomed from there,” he says.

    A huge warehouse now stocks the office chairs he sells online.  But it all started in his bedroom, when he was 15 years old.

    “I always had an entrepreneurial spirit,” he says.

    More teens than ever are tapping into their entrepreneurial spirit.  In fact, according to Junior Achievement Worldwide, interest in entrepreneurship camps is up 30 percent.  

    What’s more, experts say, kids have a huge advantage as entrepreneurs because they know the web and know network sites like Facebook and Myspace.

    “They intuitively understand the power and potential of using web based services for distribution, for marketing, for outreach… for connections,” says Andrea Herchatter with Emory University,  “And they’re incredible networkers who have a very large number of human resources in terms of their peers at their disposal.”

    “That’s the whole thing with the internet really,” says Belnick, “Anyone can put a web site up.  And it looks professional.  But there’s nothing saying that there’s a 20-year-old kid behind it.  Which is the biggest thing about the internet, you know, you can create your own credibility.”

    Experts say parents should encourage entrepreneurship in their kids… whether it’s moving lawns or an online business.

    They may not make millions… but they will learn a lot about managing a business and turning a profit.

    “I think they learn, they grow, they mature.  If they are not enriched financially then at least they are enriched in terms of life experiences that will serve them forever,” says Herchatter.

     

    Tips for Parents

    With the employment rate down for teens, many are opting for volunteer positions instead of paid positions.  And despite many adults being convinced of a decline in the values and morals of today’s young people, recent surveys show that many teens are giving of their time to work for causes in which they believe and to help those who are less fortunate. Teens find volunteer opportunities through religious organizations, school-based programs and community agencies.

    Teens listed several reasons for volunteering:

    • Compassion for people in need
    • Feeling they can do something for a cause in which they believe
    • A belief that if they help others, others will help them

    In addition, some teens volunteer their time in occupational fields in which they are interested. In addition to being helpful, they are able to use their experiences in deciding on future career choices.

    Teens reported benefiting from their volunteer experiences in many ways, including:

    • Learning to respect others.
    • Learning to be helpful and kind.
    • Learning to understand people who are different from them.
    • Developing leadership skills.
    • Becoming more patient.
    • Gaining a better understanding of good citizenship.
    • Exploring or learning about career options.
    • Developing new career goals.

    Children learn from their parents. The survey showed teens that reported having positive role models were nearly twice as likely to volunteer as those who did not. Encourage your child to volunteer by setting an example. Youth Service America provides additional ways to increase teen volunteerism:

    • Ask them to volunteer.
    • Encourage youth to get involved at an early age. Volunteering when young creates lifelong adult volunteers.
    • Encourage children and young adults to participate in community groups, faith-based organizations, student government and school projects.
    • Encourage a positive self-image so young people are able to help others and contribute to their communities.
    • Be a mentor in your community.
    • Provide young people with opportunities to take courses that include and even require community service.

     

    References

    • The Higher Education Research Institute
    • The Independent Sector
    • Youth Service America

    Parents Universal Resource Experts – Sue Scheff – Teens and Community Service

    Summer ideas and a great way to get your teens involved!

    One of the best ways to become a productive citizen is through involvement with various community projects and organizations. Every American community will have its own flavor of local organizations, and it’s simply a matter of finding out which ones are around to participate in. There are also a series of programs that are available in most places in America, and anyone who wants to be a good citizen can join. The main goal in joining these organizations is to connect with other people in your community while promoting a good cause.

    Neighborhood Watch Program™

    One of the most popular and effective community organizations is the Neighborhood Watch Program™. The Neighborhood Watch™ is great to become a productive citizen because it is one of the best ways to connect members of a community in a unified crime prevention effort.

    If your area lacks a Neighborhood Watch Program™, then you can easily start one. All you need to do is gather a group of local neighbors who are concerned with community safety, inform the local police of your intentions, and get started with a new Watch program. The police will often arrange a meeting with Watch members and you can hash out exactly what kind of organization you w ant to run and figure out how you will work in cooperation with law enforcement. Then it is simply a matter of registering at the Neighborhood Watch Program™ web site.

    The Neighborhood Watch™ is the perfect way to start your journey as a productive citizen because the Watch brings neighbors together as they gather for meetings and discussions on community safety. These meetings help keep the community informed of danger while promoting healthy neighborhood communication. Proper citizenship relies on participation, and the Neighborhood Watch™ doesn’t merely help connect neighbors but also helps protect your neighborhood from crime. Once becoming a part of the National Neighborhood Watch™ network, you can hold regular meetings and spread information through pamphlets and training techniques that the national organization sends you, this way you can help lead your entire community to a safer way of living, and as everyone looks out for each other it promotes a greater sense of community.

    Recycling and Composting

    Another great option for community involvement involves local recycling programs. There are always recycling programs available to join in communities, often run through local school systems. Joining these programs is easy and helps promote an eco-friendly community view. You can even set up a compost system in your own backyard or through the recycling program. Compost provides some of the best soil you can ever produce and is a great way to recycle and reuse your waist products.

    Becoming involved in these types of earth friendly activities helps show your children and the community that saving waste can help keep a community clean and isn’t even that difficult too do. If you are working on a compost system, you can use it to create a community garden in a local park; this can promote community unity and help beautify the area. People in the community will look up to you when working on these type of recycling projects, especially if you use them to create something more than just recycling, like a community garden. Creating this type of end product for your work to accumulate towards can solidify the idea of a good citizen in the minds of those who actually see you in action.

    redcrossRed Cross™

    There are a variety of Red Cross™ branches and splinter groups spread across communities throughout the United States, and it’s a good idea for serious citizens to become involved in at least some of them. There are a variety of different ways to become involved in Red Cross organizations, depending on your desired level of participation. Donating blood at a local Red Cross™ blood drive is a great way to become involved. Blood donations save the lives of large numbers of people each year are some of the easiest, but most rewarding forms of participation a good citizen can undertake. Truly dedicated citizens may take their involvement one step further and volunteer at a blood drive or a Red Cross™ homeless shelter. There are a variety of programs and events going on through Red Cross™ that don’t take much work, but do a lot of good, and these programs impart a powerful sense of pride in those that participate.

    Volunteering with Red Cross™ not only shows leadership and drive but helps aid those who need it the most. Working with the Red Cross™ on any level affects a much larger number of people then you might think and can help bring others in your community to the same level of involvement. The most important action a good citizen can do is serving as an example for others to follow, and there is no better way than volunteering with a local Red Cross™ organization.

    Learn more – click here.

    Parents Univesal Resource Experts – Sue Scheff – Bullying has to Stop

    bullying2With the two recent suicides  of 11 year old boys who were bullied at school, parents need to step up and take Action.  Oprah had an insightful and tearful show this week with the mothers‘ of these two little boys and the father of another.  Bullying has to stop!  It used to be said that “words can never hurt you” but that is simply and horrifically not true.  Words can hurt and they can hurt deeply and now potentially cause death.  

    Stop Bullying Now  is a comprehensive website that can answer many of your questions and help you and your children.  With sections for both kids and parents, it can help you with parenting tips and tips for kids that are being teased and bullied.

    Welcome to the Stop Bullying Now! Campaign Web site created especially for adults. Here you’ll find valuable resources about bullying awareness, prevention and intervention. As an adult, the best ways you can prevent bullying includes knowing about the many forms of bullying and best practices for taking action. No matter how you interact with children and youth, there are many ways you can Take a Stand. Lend a Hand. Stop Bullying Now!

     

    Parents Universal Resource Experts – Sue Scheff – Summer Jobs and Teens

    quintcareersA Guide for Teens: How to Find a Summer or Part-Time Job

    by Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D.

    Even if summer vacation is still a few months away for most teens, now is the time to plan and lay a foundation for landing that cool summer job you really want.

    Some caveats: This article is really geared to older high school and college teens, with a focus on summer jobs, not internships. For younger teens (under 15), check out another article I wrote, Job Ideas for Teens 15 and Younger: Beyond Babysitting. For college students looking for internship tips, we’re working on such an article, but for now, please visit: Quintessential Careers: College Internship Resources.

    The Action Plan for Teens Wanting a Summer Job
    The first step you need to do is decide on the summer job you want or need -– in terms of the type of job, the location, the hours, the pay. You may not be able to find a job that meets all your needs, but given the current employment situation you should strive to find one that meets as many as possible.

    The second step you need to do is complete a self-analysis. What do you have to offer an employer? What kind of skills do you have? What kind of other work have you done -– paid or volunteer? What have you learned at school that might be useful in your ideal summer job?

    The third step you need to do is develop a resume. You will put forth a very professional image if you present a professional-looking resume to potential employers. You’ll want to visit Quintessential Careers: Resume Resources. You’ll also need to learn about cover letters, so plan on visiting Quintessential Careers: Cover Letter Resources.

    The fourth step you need to do is use all your available resources to land that ideal summer job. Talk with your parents and older family members, your friends’ parents, your teachers, and any other adults you know and ask them if they have any contacts at your ideal job’s company. Give them copies of your resume. We call this step networking, and it will give you the highest chances of landing your ideal job.

    The fifth step is hitting the pavement, reading the newspaper want ads, and/or surfing the Web. If you don’t get any job leads from the fourth step, you have to take action!

    The sixth step is applying for the jobs that interest you. This step is where you again use your resume. Make sure you are familiar with job applications and have all the information you need to complete them.

    The seventh step is interviewing for the jobs. Make sure you know something about the company; develop answers to common interview questions; think of a few questions you could ask; practice, practice, practice with a family member of friend; dress conservatively for the interview. You can read these interviewing tips in more detail — and find lots more — by visiting Quintessential Careers: Interviewing Resources.

    Where Teens can Find Summer Jobs
    There are any number of places where you can look for a good summer job:

    • Local merchants: local stores often need good help – and not just in the summer.
    • Small businesses: most towns have a number of small business offices – and your family or friends probably know several owners or office managers.
    • Corporate offices: many have established summer jobs and internship programs, but often these are the most competitive.
    • Stores at the mall: have a favorite store you like to shop at in the mall? Maybe now is the time to get a job there –- just be careful not to spend all your earnings buying their products.
    • Hotels and resorts: summer is the busy season for most hotels and resorts.
    • Tourist attractions: even if you don’t live in Florida or California, most states have tourist attractions that especially need help during the busy tourism season.
    • Golf & Tennis clubs: as the weather improves, these clubs are usually looking for part-time help.
    • Grocery stores: maybe not the most exciting jobs, but probably the most convenient -– and not just for summer.
    • Fast food and restaurants: local restaurants always need good help -– and while not the most glamorous, it’s still a job.
    • Parks and recreation departments: city, state, and national parks and recreation departments often develop special summer programs, and thus have job opportunities.
    • Local government summer job programs: often various government agencies sponsor different kinds of summer youth work programs.
    • Summer camps: okay, you went to camp as a kid – now you can go back as a counselor and get paid while being at camp.
    • Working for yourself: there are all sorts of jobs/businesses you could develop for yourself in your neighborhood –- Check out my article, Job Ideas for Teens 15 and Younger: Beyond Babysitting.
    • The Web: especially if you want to work outside your neighborhood, or even your state, the Web is the place for you to explore all sorts of summer job opportunities -– so go visit Quintessential Careers: Summer Job Websites.

    What do Employers Look for in Teens
    Employers want motivated teens who are going to arrive to work on time, have a positive attitude, work hard, work well with others, show leadership qualities, work their full shift, and do the best job they can. You need to show your employer that you are a good investment, both for the current position, as well as for any potential future positions.

    Final Words of Advice
    Jobs are jobs. You are going to have to work, no matter how “cool” the job or company, so be prepared for some days to not be as great as others. The keys to remember are that you are earning money, you are gaining experience, and you are making good contacts (and references)!

     

    Questions about some of the terminology used in this article? Get more information (definitions and links) on key college, career, and job-search terms by going to our Job-Seeker’s Glossary of Job-Hunting Terms.

    Dr. Randall S. Hansen is founder of Quintessential Careers, one of the oldest and most comprehensive career development sites on the Web, as well CEO of EmpoweringSites.com. He is also founder of MyCollegeSuccessStory.com and EnhanceMyVocabulary.com. He is publisher of Quintessential Careers Press, including the Quintessential Careers electronic newsletter, QuintZine. Dr. Hansen is also a published author, with several books, chapters in books, and hundreds of articles. He’s often quoted in the media and conducts empowering workshops around the country. Finally, Dr. Hansen is also an educator, having taught at the college level for more than 15 years. Visit his personal Website or reach him by email at randall(at)quintcareers.com.

    Reprinted with permission; copyright Quintessential Careers