Parents Universal Resource Experts – Sue Scheff: Gangs – Be a part of a strategy to reduce gangs in your neighborhood

One of a parent’s greatest fears is if their teen becomes a member of a gang, or is even considering it.  Whether it is peer pressure or a feeling of low self worth, teens can be vulnerable if they are striving to “fit in” with what they consider a “cool group.”

By joining a gang, teens have a social network already established for them with friends who are literally ready to die for them. This infrastructure can fill a void in a young person’s life quickly and easily; however, it is in a negative way. The teenage years are a formative and difficult time for many people and joining a gang is a simple way to feel liked and popular. In dangerous neighborhoods, joining a gang can actually provide protection from other gangs, which is attractive for many people.

Florida Gang Reduction  organization was formed to help reduce gangs in Florida. This Strategy outlines a comprehensive plan for communities to develop specific solutions to dramatically reduce gang membership and gang-related activities by:  

  • Empowering youth to lead productive gang-free lives;
  • Improving law enforcement suppression efforts; and,
  • Addressing rehabilitation and re-entry issues.

The Strategy calls for the formation of seven Gang Reduction Task Forces throughout the state of Florida.

Research indicates that parents play a pivotal role in keeping young people out of gangs. Negative influences within the family-including domestic violence, child abuse, harsh or inconsistent parenting practices, and/or drug/alcohol abuse by family members-can increase the risk that a youth will join a gang.

Parents can protect their children from gang activity through taking positive actions, such as monitoring their children’s activities, fostering close relationships with them, and using positive discipline strategies. However, parents often lack factual information about gangs. – Parents Guide to Gangs

Part 1 of a series about gangs in Florida.

Learn more about Hanging With the Wrong Crowd.

Be an educated parent, you will have safer teens.
Read more on Examiner.

Parents Universal Resource Experts – Sue Scheff: Truth of Teen Pregnancy

Parenting today can be one of the most difficult jobs any adult will have.  “Adult” being the operative word, when a teenager has a child it can be even more stressful and complicated.

16 and Pregnant, which airs on MTV and is hosted by Dr. Drew, will give you a birds-eye view of teenagers having babies.  From deciding on whether to keep the baby, to giving birth, 16 and Pregnant will take you inside the lives of girls living through the difficult process being pregnant and having a baby.

In 16 and Pregnant, you will see a variety of girls with a variety of decisions.  What works best for them, and what is best for their child.  Will the father be involved, or does he want to be involved? 

These teens learn that being pregnant means having to grow up very fast.  The new challenges they face, the financial responsibilities compounded with the emotional roller coaster ride of having a baby and still being a child (teen). 

What about school?  What choices will they make? 16 and Pregnant will take you through the lives of several young teens and definitely can be an eye-opener to those that believe that having a baby is easy.  From going out to party to growing up real fast, being pregnant is a responsibility that is not easy.

These are expecting teens experiencing the consequences of unprotected sex and learning about the unexpected challenges of being pregnant raising a baby.

Be an educated parent, talk to your teens about sex.  Talk to your kids period.

Watch the trailer and read more.

Parents Universal Resource Experts – Sue Scheff: Sexual Assault and Abuse Awareness Week

Sexual Assault Awareness Week: February 22-25, 2010
Sponsored by Georgia Southern University’s Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) and the Sexual Assault Prevention Advocates (SAPA)

Sadly this is a subject that all parents need to be aware of and their teens need to be educated on.  Teen sexual abuse is not prejudice.  Whether you believe in a very safe area, or go to an excellent school or college, learning about sexual assault and abuse is a difficult topic but necessary to learn about.

Joni Poole, currently 18 years old, is a survivor of a sexual assault and rape.  She is a hero and a voice for those that are suffering silently.  She testified against her rapist and put him away.  Joni Poole created Sexual Abuse, Assault and Rape Awareness  (S.A.A.R.A.) organization following her horrific experiences.  She was also featured in my Teens That Inspire series.

Joni Poole has been invited to be the guest speaker for Sexual Assault Prevention Advocates on Thursday 7:30 pm, February 25th, 2009 at Russell Union Rotunda at Georgia Southern University.  Learn more.

Some stunning statistics from S.A.A.R.A.:

General Information about Sexual Crime Victims

-1 out of 3 girls are victims or will become victims of a sexual crime before the age of 18.
-1 out of 5 boys are victims or will become victims of a sexual crime before the age of 18.
-80% of young adults who were abused as children, met the diagnostic criteria for at least one psychiatric disorder by age 21
-34% of Sexual Crimes involve a family member or caregiver.
-1.3 forcible rape of adult women every minute. (In America)
-78 women are rape every hour. (In America)
-1,871 women are raped every day. (In America)

Sexual Crime and The Legal System

-72% of Sexual Crimes go unreported.
-If the crime is reported, there is a 50.8% chance of an arrest.
-If there is an arrest, there is an 80% chance of a prosecution.
-If a case makes it to prosecution, there is only a 58% chance of a felony conviction.
-If there is a felony conviction, there is only a 69% chance that the offender will spend time in jail.
-1 out of 20 offenders spend time in jail
-19 out of 20 offenders will walk free
-68% of Rapes occur between the hours of 6 p.m. and 6 a.m.

Not convince yet you need to learn  more?

Sexually Abused Children and Crime Rate

-Abused children are 59% more likely to be arrested as a juvenile
-Abused children are 28% more likely to be arrested as an adult
-Abused children are 30% more likely to commit a violent crime
-Over 14% of males in U.S. prisons were abused as children
-Over 36% of females in U.S. prisons were abused as children

See more shocking statistics here.

Be an educated parent, you will have safer teens.

WATCH VIDEO and read more.

Parents Universal Resource Experts – Sue Scheff: Parents – The Anti-Drug

Drug prevention with teens and kids today start with PARENTS.   Parents need to take the initiative to talk about the dangers of drug abuse, inhalants, Choking Game, trunking, SNAP, Rainbow Game and many other disturbing issues surrounding teens today.

Peer pressure is a powerful tool, parents need to be stronger and more vocal than the peer groups.

Being an educated parent is the beginning of instilling prevention and having safer and healthier teens.

The Anti-Drug begins with parents.  About The Anti-Drug: was created by the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign to equip parents and other adult caregivers with the tools they need to raise drug-free kids. Working with the nation’s leading experts in the fields of parenting and substance abuse prevention, serves as a drug prevention information center, and a supportive community for parents to interact and learn from each other.

The site provides parents and other adults caregivers access to:

  • Helpful articles and advice from experts in the fields of parenting and substance abuse prevention;
  • Science-based drug prevention information, news and studies;
  • Support from other parents striving to keep their children drug-free;
  • Perspectives of teens themselves.

Where are teens getting prescription drugs? The search starts at home.  Teens say they are easily assessable in their own homes, at a relatives or friends house or even online pharmacies.  What does this mean for parents?  It means you need to learn to safeguard your prescriptions, but more important you need to educate your teens of the dangers of these drugs taken without being prescribed.

Learn much more at The

Read more on Examiner.

Parents Universal Resource Experts – Sue Scheff: Teens to BABIES – Go back in time

How many parents of teenagers wish they could flip a switch and go back to those adorable baby days?  It seems like within a blink of an eye, your once happy, bouncing baby has grown up so fast.  We go from the infants stage, to the toddlers, straight to elementary school and approach those tween years that before you know it, you have a teen (that think they are an adult).

You have to pull out those dusty scrapbooks and photo albums to remember those precious sweet moments of your babies.

Coming in May (Mother’s Day Delight) to a theater near you, is one of the most surprising and uplifting films that will have many people smiling, crying and simply feeling good.  Most everyone loves babies, and this documentary explores a year in a life of a year old baby in four different parts of the world.

USA Today has done an extensive review on this upcoming film.  You can meet the four babies and learn a bit about their background.

For parents that are struggling with their teens and tweens today, this film is a great reminder that our kids were once babies and no matter what troubles or stress they are giving us now, we will always love them unconditionally.

You must take a few minutes and watch this dynamic trailer  and a sneak peak at the slideshow of clips of the film!  It will make you smile!

Read more on Examiner.

Parents Universal Resource Experts – Sue Scheff: The Choking Game

G.A.S.P.Games Adolescents Shouldn’t Play is a very serious concern for parents everywhere.

The Choking Game is a misunderstood activity causing death and suffering for thousands of families worldwide. It often begins with high-achieving teens choking each other as a way to get high without the risk of getting caught with drugs or alcohol. It ends with thousands of kids dying or suffering permanent brain damage each year.

Part of being an educated parent is learning about prevention of dangerous activities, such as the Choking Game.

Prevention within your own family begins with an honest discussion about the consequences of participating in The Choking Game. Remember – 75% of Middle School aged children already know about it – chances are, you are not telling them something they have not already been exposed to by their peers. The problem lies in what their peers have failed to mention- the dangers. Please also be aware that children as young as Kindergarten have been reportedly “choked out” emulating an episode or conversation displayed by an older sibling or neighbor.

Texting: Be on alert for these text symbols ;)/// ;})))

Computer / Cell Phone: Check your child’s computer/cell phone for websites containing “Pass Out” or “Choking Game“. Also look for videos created, viewed or uploaded by your child from video sharing sites like MySpace or YouTube. Popular tags are Fainting Game, Passing Out.

Be candid – be honest and be real! Show them the pictures of children who are no longer with their families. Share the “Life After”  stories of children with permanent disabilities after playing and the words of parents now forever grieving the loss of their child. Stress to your child that the end result of the child participating was preventable.


Why are kids doing this?

Some do it for the high, which can become addictive. Others do it because it’s “cool” and risky. Most kids who have died from this were active, intelligent, stable children who thought this was a safe alternative to drugs and alcohol. Most children have no concept of their own mortality-they truly believe nothing can hurt them.

Take the time to talk to your children.  This is a trend that we don’t want to continue.  Learn more at Ed4Ed4All Blog.

Learn from from the video and read more on Examiner.

Parents Universal Resource Experts – Sue Scheff: iPad and Your Teen

Apple’s Steve Jobs recently launched the iPad, displaying the many capabilities that this latest gadget can perform. Reminiscent of an iPhone, only larger, the iPad has practical applications for the gadget loving teens.  Even colleges students will fall in love with this latest tech system.

The iPad offers a wide variety of features that will delight and make life surfing and studying with more ease.

One benefit of the iPad it the ability for organized note taking, especially for those busy High School Juniors and Seniors that are crunching to get their college applications in and keeping their GPA up.  It offers one compact place for notes to be organized and offers the ability to, with ease, to share these notes with a classmate through a simple email. 

Another asset is the calendar feature.  Does your teens need to keep track of when homework is due, exams are scheduled, college application deadlines, study dates, social events or even  his/her job schedule?  iPad offers a simple way to organize your dates, deadlines and keep up with your busy life through your touch pad.

Most all teens love their iTunes, YouTube and pictures. Buying music from the iTunes store is easy and viewing movies or videos should be more comfortable on the larger 9.5 by 7.5 inch screen.

Another cool feature is the iPad can be used as a digital photo frame when not in use and has many ways to import and export photos, including docking it with a computer or downloading via email.

Is the iPad right for you teenager?  The prices range from $499.00 – $829.00 which may be a deciding factor.  Although reasonable priced for the product and its’ enhanced features, not all families are able to afford these extra luxuries for their teens.  College students are another target market that may benefit from this new gadget.  The book reader feature will help eliminate some of the bulky books they are carrying.

Don’t think about the iPad as just a computer. Its true potential lies in its potential as a communications device. – Washington Post

Watch the intro video and read more.