Sue Scheff: Homeless and At Risk Teens

We know about homeless people and the challenges they face.  Many homeless people suffer from a mental illness, some have lost their jobs and homes.

However hearing about homeless youths can be disturbing.  After all, these are truly children that have had to grow up fast.  No matter what the circumstances are, whether they were in an abusive home, are addicts, or their parents simply don’t want them; being homeless is a place where no one wants to be or even talk about.

In South Florida, the Covenant House offers relief for homeless teens. Covenant House Florida serves runaway, homeless, and at-risk youth under 21 including teen parents and their babies.

Each year, we reach hundreds of kids in Fort Lauderdale and Orlando via street outreach, crisis shelters, transitional housing projects, and aftercare, making Covenant House Florida one of the largest private agencies serving runaway and homeless youth in the state of Florida.

Services offered:

  • Street Outreach by van and foot
  • Shelter Care — nourishing meals, clean clothes, and a safe place to sleep: current capacity Ft Lauderdale 68 Youths / Orlando 20 Youths (both locations accessible to young mothers and their babies)
  • Counseling, Case Management, and Referrals
  • Health Services at on-site clinics
  • Family Reunification
  • Substance Abuse Intervention
  • Pregnancy Prevention/Teen Parent Education
  • Education
  • Job Readiness
  • Life Skills Instruction
  • Transportation Assistance
  • Pastoral Ministry
  • Rights of Passage Transitional Housing
  • Aftercare/Walk-In Services

To contact the Covenant House for more information, call toll free at 1-800-683-8338.

Must watch video and read more.  Help get young people off the streets.

Sue Scheff: Springbreak and Your Teens

As March rolls in, many college students as well as some junior and seniors in high school start anticipating their spring break.  Whether they are traveling to a warmer destination, going abroad or simply just hanging out, it is important that as parents, you determine what exactly will be going on.

Spring break is a time-honored tradition for many high school and college students, one that involves wild parties, lots of flirting and, yes, even sex. But over the last several years, tales of alcohol poisoning, illegal drug use, injuries, rape and death during students’ weeklong getaways have become common news headlines. A large proportion of these incidents actually occur in foreign cities. – Connect with Kids

Connect with Kids recently posted an excellent article with helpful parent tips as well as information on binge drinking, sex and violence as well as scams that can involve travel.  Every parent that has a college student or high school teen that is making their spring break plans, should be aware of the pitfalls, dangers and risks their child could be taking.

Communication is key.  Talk to your teens, your college students, let them know about the potential risks.  You are not attempting to ruin their fun, you are only trying to keep them safe.  You can have fun and be safe at the same time.  It is time to convince your teen of this by talking to them.

Don’t wait until the last minute, start now.  Being an educated parent will help you have safer and healthier teens.

Read more on Examiner.

Sue Scheff: Texting, Sexting and Cell Phone Safety

Recently I was contacted by WebSafety to share some valuable and priceless information to help you keep your teens safe while driving.

WebSafety has developed a software that alerts parents before danger happens (if children are contacted by someone they don’t know [they say 700,000 predators are online everyday grooming kids, trying to find their next victims] and if your child receives ‘LMIRL’ = let’s meet in real life, you’ll get alerted in real time, if they’re being cyber bullied, stalked, or being asked to send nude pics [AKA ‘sexting’ which becomes child pornography once trafficked from friend to friend.]

With the news of the recent 13 year old suicide of Hope Witsell in Florida, which is releated to sexting and bullying, it is imperative parents keep 10 steps ahead of their kids and teens technically.

Zig Ziglar Agrees to Market Blindspot Alert`s Two Products, WebSafetyPC and CellSafety

DALLAS–(Business Wire)–Blindspot Alert, Inc. (the “Company”) (OTCBB:BSAL), a developer and marketer of software that makes cell phone usage and the Internet safer for families, today announced the association of Zig Ziglar and Ziglar, Inc. to support and promote the marketing of the Company`s two products: WebSafetyPC and CellSafety.

“My life and career have been spent in service to family values,” Zig Ziglar said from his home in Dallas, Texas, “and like many parents and grandparents, I’ve wondered how we can better protect our children from predator invasions over the Internet. Likewise, texting while driving has become a major risk for teenage drivers, increasing the likelihood of having an accident by as much as 23 times. When our family reviewed the WebSafetyPC and CellSafety products, we knew we wanted it; and we want everyone we care about to have it, too.”

President of Ziglar, Inc., Tom Ziglar says, “This really is a remarkable technology, and one that every family with a computer in their home or a person who drives while using a cell phone should have.”

The Company`s President Clifton Jolley says, “Having Zig as a proponent of the WebSafetyPC and CellSafety products is gratifying. Together we are committed to protecting children from Internet predators and from the risks associated with cell phones and driving. Like many of us, the Ziglar family has worried over the risks posed by these technologies; but until we developed the technology, Internet and cell phone usage has been a frustrating task for most parents. WebSafetyPC and CellSafety create a safety net to keep kids and adults from falling into bad habits such as texting while driving and from being contacted by cyberbullies and predators.

The Company`s two main products are:

CellSafety all but eliminates the risk of texting while driving by turning off
the texting feature at a predetermined speed. Parents also have the ability to
create “test-free zones,” such as schools, where cheating by texting is an
increasing problem. “Another great feature,” Tom Ziglar says, “is the FindMe
feature that lets me find my cell-phone-enabled children.”

WebSafetyPC provides many of the features available on CellSafety phones such as alerts for cyber bullying, sexting, and predator alerts. The president of Mothers Against Predators says of her experience, “The predator who attacked my daughter didn`t come in through a window…he came in through my computer.”

WebSafetyPC and CellSafety provide the following features as demonstrated by these two charts:

National Press:

For more info, please see:

Sue Scheff: Gifts that are priceless for your family

Did you take part in Black Friday?  Many people set their alarm clocks for those 4:00am sales.  Everyone is looking for a bargain.

In a year that has been less than financially friendly to many families, these early morning sales can help them make a difference in giving their child that special gift they asked for.

During this time of year, it is also time to think about so many gifts that won’t cost you money, however will be priceless in their value

Here are some ideas:

  1. Your time.  It is that simple, your children crave your attention and would love to have more time with you.  Can you make a promise to take more time out of your schedule and give it to your child? Learn about “Family Time Out” all year round.
  2. Volunteer with your family.  There is nothing more fulfilling than giving back to those with less.  Contact your local Goodwill, Red Cross or Salvation Army.  Find out where the homeless shelters or soup kitchens are in your area  – take a day to donate your time to others as a family. Learn more about Volunteering in your community.
  3. Clean out your closets! What does this mean?  Do you have old toys, yet in good condition, or games that maybe you only used once or twice?  Do you have clothes you no longer wear however are still like new?  Donate!  Everyone take the time to give up what they don’t use and find a place to donate to needy families.  Bikes are always a hot and needed item.
  4. Does your grocery store offer buy one get one free?  In Florida, Publix offers this almost everyday on many items.  Give that item to a local food bank.  Again, it is all about giving to those with less and doing this together will teach your children to be less materialistic and more about  the true meaning of the holidays – to give.
  5. Spirituality.  Maybe you are not religious, maybe you were at one time or maybe you are.  Whatever category  you fall into, maybe it is time to find visit a new church or synagogue.  Trying new experiences can be enlightening and you never know who you may meet or what you might learn. 
  6. Picture Time! Yes, of course you can take photo’s but to have more fun, drag out those boxes from your childhood, home movies from years (decades) ago as well as your child’s photo’s from birth to today!  Your kids, even teens love this – and there is nothing like laughing and memories to bring in a new year and celebrate the love of family.

Do you have more ideas for families to try this holiday season that are cost effective?  Please leave them in comments.  Remember the holidays are about giving and as parents we need to set the example for our children.

Reminder: Holiday Safety Tips

Holiday Gift Ideas for Teens

Don’t forget to subscribe to receive my latest articles.

Also on

Sue Scheff: Parenting Teens Internet Safety

cybersafety_logoOne of today’s largest challenges for parents keeping up with their kids technology.  Whether you have  teen that is wandering through areas of the web they shouldn’t be, or kids that are landing in chatrooms that are extremely risky, as a parent you need to be ten steps ahead of them.

Here are some great articles, tips, resources and more to help you be informed about parenting in the digital age.

Chatroom Safety Tips

Cyber Safety Awareness

Social Web Tips for Teens

Social Web Tips for Parents

Cell Phone Safety Tips

Teen Internet Addiction

Internet Predators

Maintaining Your Online Image

Yoursphere Safety

Mothers Against Predators

Internet Safety and Guidance Counselors

Click here to learn more about the author.

Also on

Sue Scheff: Parenting Teens in a Positive Direction

danielleherb2School is opening throughout our country this month. It can be an exciting time for some and a trying time for others.
Having a successful school year is always a parent’s desire, however sometimes there are bumps and struggles. Especially if your child is in High School and preparing for their college applications, we need to be sure your teen is motivated in a positive direction.
I always encourage parents to find their child’s passion. It could be tennis, swimming, photography, baseball (sports), chess, fine arts, music, dance, or many other interests. Does your child show an interest in writing? Get them involved in the school newspaper or on the yearbook committee. Doe your child like politics? Look for groups and clubs within their school or outside and encourage them to join. Check your local library for a variety of clubs or groups.
A teen that is guided in a positive direction has a better chance at reaching their goals and developing their skills in their area of interest. It can also enhance their academic progress knowing they have a goal. I also recognize many teens don’t know what they want to be when they “grow up,” however many do have something they are passionate about.
One 15 year old,Danielle Herb, has taken her passion and reached heights that many only dream of. Her mother has been her inspiration and has encouraged Danielle to be all she can be.
Danielle Herb organized and runs Drop Your Reins, a program for kids with ADD/ADHD and Autism. She and her mother offer peaceful solutions for ADHD/ADD & Autistic Children using natural horsemanship.  Visit Cheers Ranch on Amelia Island, Florida.
As a young teen, Danielle is driven, motivated and determined to do what she does best, relate with her horses and help others with her gift. Danielle herself is ADHD, and relates to the children she is helping and mentoring.
I understand this is an exceptional young woman, however your teen can be successful too. Find their passion – encourage them to get involved – be an involved parent – and don’t forget, these years go so fast, don’t waste a minute.
Be an educated parent; learn more about your teen and their goals. You may have a teen entrepreneur in your home and not realize it!

Sue Scheff 2008 Parenting Websites and Books

Well, 2008 is finally behind us! Many would say it was not the best year economically, with stress of finances, the frustrations of getting our kids/teens to comprehend the serious of it all. Personally I am very excited about 2009 – especially this fall, my second book will be released and it is going to be HOT! It is hush hush for now, but it will be explosive for sure!

Let’s take a look at 2008 and some of the great parenting sites and books we have:

ADDitude Magazine – All about ADD/ADHD!
PE4Life – Teaching our Kids the Importance of Physical Education
Connect with Kids – Great Articles and DVD’s for Parenting of all ages
Inhalant Abuse – Learn more about this growing problem among teens.
Love Our Children USA – Great information on keeping our kids safe today.
iKeepSafe – Promoting Parenting Education on Keeping Kids Safe in Cyberspace
Feingold Program – Fantastic information on alternative ways to treating ADD/ADHD – It’s all about kids of all ages!
Safe Teen Driving ClubLearn how to keep your teens safe on the road.
Next Generation Parenting – What’s next?
OnTeensToday – Vanessa Van Petten has great insights on teens today.
Thinking Forward – A parent’s guide to middle school years.
Break Free Beauty – Teen Body Image by Sarah Maria

Beautiful Boy by David Scheff
It All Started with Pop-Tarts by Lori Hanson
A Relentless Hope – Surviving the Storm of Teen Depression by Gary Nelson
You’re Grounded by Vanessa Van Petten
Parent Survival TrainingDr. David Lustig
SOS – Students Guide for Saying NO to Cheating – by Lisa Medoff
SOS – Students Guide for Peer Pressure – by Lisa Medoff
Preventing Addiction by Dr. John Fleming

Oh, don’t forget my own book release in July 2008 – Wit’s End! Advice and Resources for Saving Your Out-Of-Control Teen published by Health Communications, Inc. Watch for fall 2009 as they release my second book!