Thursday, January 28, 2010

Sue Scheff: Teens and Government

January 27th, 2010, at 9:00pm EST, President Obama hit the airwaves. Many people watched it and others chose not to.

It has been a difficult year for many families, economically, health care issues, war, and natural disasters. Many parents encourage their teenagers to listen and understand, and ironically, many teens attempt to get their parents to engage.

What exactly do your kids know about government and how it works? During these times of struggles, it may be an opportunity to sit down and talk about how our government can work or not work for you. Many students will learn their basic guide to the U.S. Government, but how many have families sit down and discuss politics?

During the election year there seemed to be more chatter than in years past with the candidates and the influx of social media which most likely contributed to many young interested parties.

Tonight will you be watching? Will your children? Will you be able to answer their questions or can you engage in a healthy debate? No matter what your party is, being together as a family is what is most important. Many families have a combination of Republicans, Democrats, Liberals and Independents.

Teach your children more about government - visit Ben's Guide to the U.S. Government for Kids. Choose your age range and learn more.

For teens grades 9-12, click here. Quick facts about our state of Florida, click here. Are you in another state? Find others here.

Prepare your teens for the future.  Read more on Examiner.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Sue Scheff: Self Esteem and Girls - It is as easy as buying a box of cookies!

Have you received the knock on your door? Have gone to do your grocery shopping and meet by moms and daughters selling Girl Scout cookies? What about your local Walmart? Almost everywhere the average person goes today until February 9th, you won't be able to miss the opportunity to not only buy these cookies we love (and we all have our favorites), you will have a chance to build a child's self- esteem.

It is not so much about the delicious cookies you will receive for your $3.50 a box, it is about making a young girl feel good. It is about contributing to an organization that is constantly working on teaching integrity, respect, responsibility and much more to young girls today.

South Florida Girl Scouts is one of many chapters that participate in many community service hours. They offer many fantastic activities and opportunities to meet new people and give back to your community. Watch video below.

Are you interested in joining, volunteering or finding out more about the Girl Scouts?

Discover - Connect - Take Action - Join now.... Click here for more information.

The Girl Scout Promise:

The Girl Scout Promise is shared by every member of Girl Scouting. The Girl Scout Promise is the way Girl Scouts agree to act every day toward one another and other people.

On my honor, I will try:
To serve God* and my country,
To help people at all times,
And to live by the Girl Scout Law.

* The word "God" can be interpreted in a number of ways, depending on one's spiritual beliefs. When reciting the Girl Scout Promise, it is okay to replace the word "God" with whatever word your spiritual beliefs dictate.

What is your favorite Girl Scout cookie? Please share with everyone in comments on Examiner.

My vote is for Thin Mints and Samoas.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sue Scheff: Queen Latifah and Sean Combs Host American Airlines Arena Concert: Help for Haiti

On February 5th, Queen Latifah and Sean Combs will be hosting SOS Saving Ourselves: Help for Haiti at the American Airlines Arena. The nationally televised telethon will benefit organizations providing immediate relief in Haiti, including YĆ©le Haiti, CARE and Project MediShare.

The three-hour telecast will air live on BET, Centric, MTV and VH1 at 8 p.m. and will include appearances and performances by Mary J. Blige, Ludacris, Justin Bieber, Robin Thicke, Pharrell Williams and others to be announced.

As with the recent telethon hosted by George Clooney (watch video), some heavy-hitter celebrities will also be on hand answering phones. Tickets to the benefit concert will be available on and at the AAA box office.

What a great opportunity to attend an event for the entire family. Plan now and get your tickets early. Teens and children learn by example, as our country has come together to help Haiti, let's bring our families together to help those in need.

Teaching our children young to give back is a gift that is priceless and will empower their adult lives.

Places to donate now:


Red Cross

Doctors Without Borders

Watch video  and read more on Examiner.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Sue Scheff: Being Honest With Your Teens - Is it always best?

Honestly, is being honest always the best policy? In most situations we all would agree honesty is admired and a sign of integrity. However when it comes to parenting, how much do our children really need to know and when?

Parenting teens today is challenging and most teenagers today enjoy a good challenge. How much of your teen years do you feel like you should share with your teenager? Of course, it all depends on what happened in your adolescent years.

  • If you have a teen that is dabbling in drug use, and you have repeatedly shared your experience with using drugs, will the teen see this has condoning the drug use? Keep in mind, drug use today is more dangerous than it was years ago.
  • Did you have sex too early? Is it appropriate to share your sexual experiences with your teenagers? Will this give them permission to do the same, or would they learn from your mistakes?
  • Were you involved in juvenile issues when you were a teenager? Do you think sharing these experiences would help your teen not to follow that path, or would they feel it would be o-kay since you did it?
  • How much should you tell your teens about your financial situation? Should they know your salary? Should they be aware of when you are behind on your payments?
These questions could go on and on. Although lying is frowned upon, it may not be necessary to share everything with your teens. As a matter of fact, that is why we are the parents and they are still minors. Depending on your teenager will depend on how much you want to tell them and how much you won't.

Remember, our children are impressionable - they look up to parental influence, so before you decide to share your Woodstock days, you may want to consider your teen's personality.

Be an educated parent, you will have safer and healthier teens!

Read more on this topic here.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Sue Scheff: Rosalind Wiseman's Girl World Tour 2010

Moms & daughters (ages 8-14) are invited to join Rosalind Wiseman, an internationally-recognized author, mom and expert on teens & parenting for a fun-filled evening of mother-daughter bonding.
In addition to celebrating Rosalind's latest books, the tour will feature an interactive discussion about confidence, friendships, sweat-inducing moments and common mother-daughter challenges. A Q&;A session and book signing will follow. The two-hour event is sure to get mothers and daughters talking, laughing and connecting.

Girl World Tour 2010 is kicking off in St. Louis, MO. Sponsors include Dove and Family Circle. Check out the event details as well as the list of cities Rosalind will be appearing in. Please check back often as new cities are added and additional information becomes available! Contact Emily Bartek with any questions at 202-545-0633.

Watch video and slideshow.

Being an educated parent is being a prepared parent and that equals safer and healthier teens!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Sue Scheff: The Lovely Bones - Sex Offenders - Do you know who lives in your neighborhood?

December 6, 1973, the day Susie Salmon was murdered.

On her way home from school on a snowy December day in 1973, 14-year-old Susie Salmon ("like the fish") is lured into a makeshift underground den in a cornfield and brutally raped and murdered, the latest victim of a serial killer--the man she knew as her neighbor, Mr. Harvey. -

The Lovely Bones, by Alice Sebold, is an amazing novel that recently came to the big screen. Although the story is depressing, it is a reminder of how parenting has changed dramatically since the 70's. Parenting in the respect of our kids having the freedom to roam neighborhoods and simply walk home from school by themselves. Today we are all too aware of educating our kids about "stranger danger" and we are more protective than generations prior.

Does this mean that our parents were not as diligent as parents are today? No, not exactly, it only means we have become more aware of the dangers that can lurk in our neighborhoods or at a local park.

Teach your children about stranger danger. Teach your kids how to talk to strangers since it is inevitable they will at one time or another.

Sex offenders watch lists:

Be an educated parent, you will have safer children.

Watch trailer and read on Examiner.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Sue Scheff: Saying "I love you" to your teenager

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, many parents with elementary school children will be purchasing their unique Valentine’s box cards depending on your child’s interest. Whether it is Disney, Sponge Bob, Dora the Explorer or Nascar, children are easy to please for this special day.

What about a teenager? Raising teens is not the easiest job and some teenagers are extremely difficult. Valentine’s Day can give a parent an opportunity to let their teen know just how much you do love them, even if they give you stress and angst at times.

  • Plan some time together. Cook their favorite meal or go to their favorite restaurant. The important thing is you are taking the time to spend it with them. What a great opportunity to open those lines of communication.
  • If they have special plans with a girlfriend or boyfriend, be sure to make a date on another night to celebrate. Let your teen know they are important to you, how much you do love them no matter what and you understand that they may want to spend Valentine’s Day with their significant other, however you would like a rain check. (Make the plans as near February 14th as possible so the understand it is a special time for parents and teens too).
  • If they do have a significant other they want to take to dinner, you may want to give them a Valentine’s card with a gift certificate to a restaurant for them. This way you are showing your teenager you respect their decision and also want to spend them with them after or before they have their date.
We all know it is almost impossible to buy for teens, and Valentine’s Day is about expressing love – do it with your time. It is a priceless gift.

Happy Valentine’s Day and make it special for your teenager and family.

Also on Examiner.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Sue Scheff: Therapy Dogs and At-Risk Teens

Dogs and troubled teens? It may seem like an odd combination, however it is amazing how animals can change lives. Today more and more teen help programs and juvenile centers are incorporating canine therapy and/or equine therapy (horses). Helping struggling teens recognize their potential and self-worth can help them to make better choices in their lives.

Dawn Kairns, author and Family Nurse Practitioner, is making a difference with her therapy dog, Maddie. MAGGIE, The Dog Who Changed My Life: A Story of Love is a book that started a new chapter in the author's life; Helping at-risk teens at juvenile centers is just one of them. Here is a recent interview with author Dawn Kairns:

1. Many of us love animals and especially love our dogs. Please tell us what prompted you to write about your special love, Maggie?

"MAGGIE" actually began as my grief journal after she died. Writing what I remembered about our life together is what helped me to cope with my heartbreaking loss.

I was so struck by Maggie's ability to know what I said, thought, and wanted that I felt compelled to share it so others could look for and validate their perceptions of their dog's sixth sense abilities. Learning to trust my intuition and dream messages were such valuable lessons with Maggie - I wanted to share these special and unique experiences. I also wanted to share the depth of my grief and how I began to heal so others in my shoes will feel supported in theirs, understood and hopeful. Finally, it was my tribute to Maggie, to our relationship.

I also wanted to share with pet guardians my shocking discoveries about the commercial pet food industry, nutrition, and alternative pet health care, like acupuncture.

2. In your former life (prior being a writer) you were a Family Nurse Practitioner. Do you feel that this helped you write about your relationship with Maggie?

I feel several things contributed. My years of personal journaling and a writing course were a huge help in writing about my relationship with Maggie. My years as a psychotherapist probably helped me express my feelings more as well as tune in to Maggie's nonverbal communication. My personal dream work with a Jungian therapist gave me a deeper insight into understanding the significant dreams I had during Maggie's illness and to write about & interpret them in my book. My work as a Family Nurse Practitioner certainly helped me write about the medical, health and nutritional aspects in relation to Maggie.

3. You stated: "My book explores a deeper, spiritual side of the human-canine bond…including animal telepathy, and the importance of trusting our intuition and dream messages" - Please share with us one or more of your experiences and how others can benefit from this.

As far as Maggie "reading my mind," I noticed very early In Maggie's life that she responded appropriately to words I hadn't taught her yet. Then she seemed to understand sentences and explanations about staying out of my flower beds and not going into the street. When I got ready for work and simply thought, "maybe today I can take her with me," she responded with excitement where she would normally recognize my work clothes as a sign that there was no fun coming for her, and she lay down and ignore me, her disappointment obvious.

I learned the importance of trusting my gut feelings over the expertise of others the hard way, by NOT trusting my intuition & I later regretting that choice; veterinarians misdiagnose, as more than one did with Maggie; no one knows our pets like we do. Had I followed my intuition, Maggie may have lived several years longer than she did. I encourage readers/ pet guardians to advocate & speak out if a diagnosis does not make sense to them.

I have kept dream journals for years. A couple of months prior to taking Maggie to a new veterinarian I dreamed that I had her at the vet & he didn't know what was wrong with her, but someone else in his office did. This is exactly what turned out to be true over the course of several months (the misdiagnosis cost her life). It was another woman (vet) in his office who saw Maggie who got us on the right track. I also had 2 dreams that Maggie's neck was bald & irritated. This was prior to learning she had thyroid cancer. When she finally had a biopsy, this is exactly what her neck looked like. These are just a few examples of how my dreams tried to warn me when all was not well with Maggie. At the time I didn't know clairvoyant dreams were possible. Now I do. Maggie and I were so connected that I believe our spiritual bond allowed for this level of sixth sense communication.

4. Many people have heard of Service Dogs, dog that assist the elderly, disabled or otherwise may need a Service dog. Please tell us about a Therapy Dog and how they can help people?

A therapy dog visits people in various contexts such as in hospitals, nursing homes, retirement homes, schools, juvenile centers, etc. People with learning difficulties & those in stressful situations such as disaster areas can benefit, too.

The most important characteristic of a therapy dog is its temperament. A good therapy dog enjoys human contact & petting, is friendly, patient, gentle, confident, & at ease in all situations. Therapy Dogs can help people by providing affection and comfort, connection, acceptance and no judgment at a time when people in institutions may feel lonely, isolated, unloved, or judged.

5. Your most recent attribute is helping juveniles (high risk teens) with your Therapy Dog, Maddie. Teens that are in trouble or struggling in life, are not mature enough to truly understand the consequences of negative behavior. How do you feel Canine Therapy (therapy dogs) can help them?

In Maddie's case, the kid's at both juvenile centers I've taken her to have really enjoyed playing with her, and getting her to follow the commands I demonstrated that Maddie follows. It can help their confidence. She makes them smile at a very difficult time in their lives; brings them a moment of joy when they are facing the judicial system and taking a hard look at themselves.

I teach the kids about positive reinforcement training, which shows them how important it is to be patient with a dog and to recognize/reward good behavior, again something that will benefit them if they learn to notice the good instead of the negative behavior in themselves and others, as well as in the dogs. The teens also get to learn about caring for and nurturing a dog in a positive way, something that may be lacking in the way they are treated in their lives, depending on their background.

In more in depth canine programs, where, for example a juvenile is paired with a shelter dog to train for several weeks, the at-risk kids experience the power of the human-animal bond. This enables them to experience tremendous growth and behavioral improvements. Dogs have opened prisoner's hearts in ways humans have not. The same is true with teens. The more in-depth canine/youth program also dramatically improves the adoptability of the shelter dogs, which gives the kids a sense of accomplishment and builds their confidence.

If you want to learn more about MAGGIE, The Dog Who Changed My Life you can also visit the author's website at

Watch slideshow to meet Maggie, Maddie and Dawn.  Also on Examiner.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Sue Scheff: School Safety TV invites champions to reach out worldwide

Global television initiative to be launched at the International School Safety Convention, April 22-23, 2010, in Denver

School Safety TV, a new cause-related television channel, is inviting leaders, innovators and goodwill ambassadors to join a series of public appeals to be broadcast globally to support programs that help protect students, teachers, and schools everywhere.

The series of televised appeals and mini-documentaries will be launched at the International School Safety Convention, April 22-23, 2010, in Denver, Colorado. Television production and editing facilities will be provided free of charge to spokespersons and delegates from the United States and around the world.

Online registration for television participants is now open at  for a limited time.

Also invited are persons of integrity who are widely recognized in the worlds of art, entertainment, sports, science, and literature, and who are interested in drawing attention to programs of their choice and connecting with new audiences.

Throughout the 30 days following the International School Safety Convention, School Safety TV will distribute 4 hours of broadcast video packages to journalists, television news producers, and online and mobile news video providers at more than 25,000 news organizations on all continents.

Participating organizations may include electronic brochures, reports, presentations, and other multi-media with the high-definition video distributions.

To help build a world audience for each program, School Safety TV also offers online social networking tools so that organizations can quickly invite and engage supporters, moderate discussions in multiple languages, create action groups, schedule and promote events, register attendees, and upload media assets throughout the year for instant web distribution.

The Advisory Board for the convention’s television campaign is led by the Executive Director of Safe Havens International, Michael Dorn, a noted school safety expert who has provided leadership consulting to states across the country and to nations around the world.

Our purpose is to bring together comparisons and contrasts so that administrators, leaders, and influencers can learn from one another,” Dorn said. Bullying, cyber threats, natural disasters, gangs, major accidents, and school violence are problems found in most parts of the world, according to Dorn. “Problems also vary from country-to-country, but the different solutions we try are relevant to everyone,” he explains.

Dorn and the convention organizers point to many examples of horrific school safety issues that deserve international attention:
  • A girl in Afghanistan has acid thrown in her face because she wants to go to school, and her family must face a life of humiliation.
  • A boy in Nepal recruited into armed conflict as a “child soldier” is haunted by his own atrocities when he re-enters civil society.
  • An African boy from a war-torn city tries to adjust to high school life when his family seeks refuge in America.
  • A child in Indonesia who loses her family and her school in a tsunami faces the threat of human trafficking.
  • Teachers are gunned down in Iraq, and the country experiences a “brain drain” when academic leaders flee.
  • A youth gang organizer in California turns to the school playgrounds of Latin America to recruit new members.
  • A tranquil European community is hit by a school shooting rampage, and the survivors’ grief remains unresolved.
Reviewing these and many other school-related crises, Dorn said, “We need to build a large community of problem-solvers that is very inclusive.”

Other School Safety TV Advisory Board members include former U.S. “Cyber Czar” Andy Purdy, who will review programs that address school cyber threats; John Simmons, chairman of School Safety Partners; and Ross Ellis, founder and CEO of Love Our Children USA. The founding sponsor for the event is SchoolSAFE Communications, and the event host is the Foundation for the Prevention of School Violence, at Johnson & Wales University, College of Business. The International School Safety Convention is the Foundation’s 4th annual leadership event on school safety.

Visit  to register online to be considered as a spokesperson or Goodwill Ambassador.

Browse school safety listings at .


Watch video on Examiner.

Education is part of safety, both online and off. Both in school and out. Be an educated parent.

Watch video and read on Examiner.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Sue Scheff: Neighborhoods and your Teens

Where do you live? Many of us live in places we truly love and most of live where we can financially afford. Sometimes these are good areas, sometimes they are not, but as long as you have your family and make it your priority, the real estate location is not a priority.

A misconception is that more troubled teens come from "bad" neighborhoods, maybe that is true, however that doesn't eliminate the fact there are also troubled teens in very good neighborhoods and A rated schools.

Most important is that you don't become a product of your environment as much as you insure your family is kept together with good morals.

Being an educated parent can help you and your kids have a better life wherever you live. Teach respect, empower your children with dignity and integrity no matter what neighborhood they come from. Teach them responsibility and accountability for their own actions.

Encourage your teens to volunteer, get a job, start a group to help others or simply reach out to your neighbors. Building a child's self esteem is one of the best ways you can guide them into a bright future. Giving back to others can give so much to you. Teach your teens this early on and no matter where you live, your kids will learn how to make the world a better place.

Also on Examiner.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Sue Scheff: How to talk SEX with your Teens and Tweens

The dreaded birds and the bees talk can still today make many parents uncomfortable. However more today than any generation prior, it is imperative the talk is not only a priority, it is appropriately addressed without instilling fear and giving as much honest information as possible.

How to Talk About Sex to Your Teen

There are many things that parents are willing to do for their kids, but when it comes to educating them and talking to them about sex, they're very, very reluctant to do so. Perhaps they're still unwilling to accept the fact that their babies are growing up and fast becoming adults, or perhaps they're just too embarrassed to talk about this subject with their children. But there comes a time in your child's life when he/she will learn about the birds and the bees, and it's best that you be the one to tell them about the natural attraction between the sexes and the sexual act itself. So if you're wondering how to break the ice on this topic which is most often taboo in most homes, here's how you can talk to your teen about sex:

Be your child's friend: The process starts early, as soon as your child is able to understand the vagaries of life. You must be friends with your son or daughter if you want them to listen to what you have to say about sex when the time comes for this talk. If you're aloof with them and behave like typical parents, they're not going to be receptive to your little talk. So be your child's friend rather than a judgmental parent so that this talk about sex becomes that much easier when the time comes.

Start early: Don't wait till your child hits puberty to talk to them about menstruation and other aspects of adulthood. Their bodies begin to change much before they hit puberty, so spend more time with them as they enter their tween and teen years. Educate them about the bodily changes they can expect and teach your daughter and son how to handle puberty. While girls have to be aware of their monthly periods, boys are usually guilty about wet dreams and masturbation. If they don't know the facts, they could become mentally disturbed by the changes they are going through.

Don't just educate them, talk to them: It's not enough to just use a book or an educational video to teach your tween or teen about the basics of sex. They probably already know what goes where and how people do it; what they don't know and what you should tell them is the consequences their sexual actions will have, not just on them but on the others who are affected too. Teach them to make the right choices and to be aware of their actions. And even though you don't want them to have sex right away, educate them about contraception to avoid unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases.

Encourage them to come to you with any problem: If you teach your child that sex is taboo and to be avoided at all costs till they get married, you're never going to know if he or she gets into trouble because they're going to be afraid of your reaction if they tell you. And if you even suggest that it's ok to experiment and be sexually promiscuous, you're going to have trouble of a different kind. There's a thin line between these two opposing views that you must tread, one that encourages them to exercise caution, and yet, one that also tells them that they can come to you with any problem that they might have relating to sex or relationships. When you are open with your child, you know they're safe no matter what they do.

By-line: This post is written by Susan White, who writes on the topic of Radiologist Technician Schools . She welcomes your comments at her email id: .

Learn more about teenage pregnancy. Click here.

Be an educated parent, you will have safer and healthier tweens and teens!

Also on Examiner.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Sue Scheff: I Care I Cure Foundation - Finding a Gentler Cure

The I Care I Cure Foundation supports the development of, and raises public awareness about, cutting-edge, targeted therapies for childhood cancer, so the treatment of childhood cancer will be gentler and more tolerable. -

Do you love running or outside fun with family and friends? In South Florida January has the perfect weather for activities outside!

The I Care I Cure Foundation will have their 3rd Annual I Care I Cure. . . I Run 5k/10k Walk/Run that will be held at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, FL on Sunday, January 24, 2010 at 7 a.m. The Walk/Run is open to adults and kids alike and supports I Care I Cure's mission of raising awareness and funds for gentler cures for childhood cancer. Following the walk/run, there will be an expanded Family Fun Day with activities for kids, food and lots of fun!

A bit of history about this wonderful foundation:

The I Care I Cure Foundation was founded by Beth and Brad Besner (along with their friends and family) in honor of their son, Ian, who was diagnosed with T-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) in January, 2006, one week before his 11th birthday. Ian was an extraordinary boy who shared his joy and love of life with everyone who met him.....

When Ian was diagnosed with leukemia, his whole world fell apart. He was bitterly angry. While the "cure" rate for ALL has come a long way with "cure" rates of 75-80% ", the reality of pediatric cancer treatment is excruciatingly difficult. Ian's treatment was to last about 2 ½, years and entail massive doses of toxic chemotherapies administered orally, intravenously, through frequent shots to his legs and spine, and radiation to his brain. To a bright, joyful, enthusiastic child, this so-called "cure" was a death sentence - the end of life as he knew it.... read more here.

Learn more about this foundation and how you can help. Click here.

Also on Examiner.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Sue Scheff: Should a Parent Read Their Teen's Diary?

This is a subject that has many answers and opinions. First and foremost parents need to remember, "When Safety Trumps Privacy!"

Teenagers earn their trust with their parents. Respecting each others privacy should always be priority, however if you fear your teenager is heading down a dark path, and is not willing to talk to you or a third party (therapist, guidance counselor, relative or adult friend), you may have to cross the line of trust.

What are some of the warning signs that may prompt you to cross this line?

Is your teen becoming very secretive? Sure, teens do like their privacy, however if you have a "gut feeling" something is deeper than a secret, you may have to cross that line.

  • Is your teen becoming withdrawn? Again, teens will develop some attitudes of not wanting to be with adults, however when it becomes extreme, it may be time to cross that line.
  • Is your teen changing peer groups? And this is not into a better one, however to one that is less than desirable? You will again attempt to talk to your teen and find out why and what happened to the other friends.
  • Is your teens eating habits changing?
  • Is your teen sleeping a lot? Bloodshot eyes? Do you suspect drug use?
  • Is your teen sneaking out? Becoming extremely defiant? Not respecting your boundaries?
  • Overall, is your teen slowly becoming a child you don't recognize?
When safety trumps privacy you are being a responsible parent. On the flip side, if your teen is not giving you any reason to "snoop" then you should respect their journal and/or diary and not open it.

What happens when you read the journal and find out more than you expected? This can be a very scary and shocking time and the last thing you want to do is explode. If your teen is struggling already, you don't need to add to this and possibly escalate it and/or give them reason to continue the negative behavior.

More importantly, if you are reading that your child is being bullied or suffering with depression (whether it is from low self worth or not fitting in), it is imperative you attempt to open lines of communication. Starting a conversation about yourself and maybe some of the feelings you had at her age could be a great conversation opener.

If you don't feel you are able to do this, please reach out and be sure your teen get the help he/she may need. Teens need to know that we do care about them, we are very much concerned about their happiness and we are not trying to stop them from having fun, however if their safety is jeopardized, we need to be a parent first.

Should you read your teen's diary? That is a personal question only you can answer.

Remember writing can be very healthy for teens (and adults for that matter), so if your teen isn't giving you any valid reasons to "invade their privacy" - respect it.

Also on Examiner.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Sue Scheff: One Click Away - Be an educated parent online

Have you thought about how dangerous a "click of a mouse" is? Dangerous?

As you start a new year, take the time to educate yourself on Internet safety. Learn how you can become proactive in your kids lives both online and off. Learn how that one click can either open doors that you can benefit from, or enter hallways are dark and dangerous.

You can put as many parent safety controls on your computer system. You can employ technical gadgets galore, but until you educate yourself and your kids about the dangers that can lurk online, you and your family are not 100% protected.

Yes, you can be just one click away: Be sure it is a click into safety not danger.

Social Web Tips for Parents
Social Web Tips for Teens
Chat room Safety Tips - Know who your kids are mingling with online.
Basic Online Safety Tips: Parenting 101 Cyber Safety
Learn about Internet Predators
Internet Things Your Children Should Never Know
SEXTING: What parents need to know
Parenting 2010: Getting Ahead of your kids technically

Did you order your FREE Cyber safety book from the FTC? Order today!

Be an educated parent, you will have safer kids!

Also on Examiner.