Sue Scheff: Teens that Shoplift and Steal

teenshopliftingIt doesn’t matter what your economic status is, it seems some teens from all financial backgrounds will try their “hand” at shoplifting. Why? Peer pressure? Is it cool? Part of the crowd?

What constitutes shoplifting? It doesn’t have to be only stealing, shoplifting can include changing price tags (which is harder to do now with the bar scans in some stores), consuming food or drink without paying for it, leaving a restaurant without paying, wearing items out of a store (again, hoping there isn’t an alarm tag on them) – this and more will land you in legal trouble if you are caught.

Teens seem to believe it could never happen to them – however more and more I am hearing from parents that have had to deal with this.

Why Children Steal and Your Role in Preventing Retail Theft

Very young children sometimes take things they want without understanding why it’s wrong. Elementary school-aged children know better, but may lack enough self-control to stop themselves. Most preteens and teens shoplift as a result of social and personal pressure in their lives. Here are just a few of the reasons why:

• Feel peer pressure to shoplift
• Low self-esteem
• A cry for help or attention
• The naïve assumption they won’t get caught
• The belief that teen stealing is “not a big deal”
• Inability to handle temptation when faced with things they want
• The thrill involved
• Defiance or rebelliousness
• Not knowing how to work through feelings of anger, frustration, etc.
• Misconception that stores can afford the losses
• The desire to have the things that will get them “in” with a certain group of kids.
• To support a drug habit.
• To prove themselves to members of a gang

Be an educated parent, you will have a safer teen.

For more information visit my website on Teen Mischief.  If you have a teen that is at risk, please visit Parents’ Universal Resource Experts. Also visit Teens Health on Shoplifting.

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Sue Scheff: School Violence and Bully Must STOP

MichaelBrewerLast week in Florida is another tragedy involving teens and school violence. BULLYING is a major issue and needs to be taken seriously. The recent incident in Deerfield Beach of the young boy that was bullied and burned by his classmates is nothing short of despicable. It was only a month ago we were all brought to tears by the death of the teen in a Coral Gables stabbing at school.

As a Parent Advocate, I cannot express enough that parents need to be educated on bullying and how dangerous this behavior is.

What happened to 15 year old Michael Brewer should be a wake-up call to all parents, educators, and everyone that works with children today. Do we really need these wake-up calls? We read about these horrific acts almost daily with kids, whether it is in Chicago or South Florida, these stories are in the news.

Help STOP BULLYING today! Be an educated parent, you will have a safer teen.

What is bullying?

Bullying is an aggressive behavior that is intentional and malicious. Bullying can be physical contact as well as verbal abuse. Many have heard the adage “Sticks and stone can break your bones, but word can never hurt.” That has been proven a wrong statement over and over, as words can devastate a young child and scar them emotionally for a long time.

To learn more about bullying visit the following websites and take the time to become familiar with the warning signs, tips, articles, as well as how you can be proactive in your community.

Stop Bullying Now – All about bullying, prevention, intervention and more. Take a stand, lend a hand.

STOMP OUT BULLYING – What you can do. PSA’s and more, take the pledge to stop bullying today.

Kids Health Today – Educational articles, tips and more about bullying and your children.

Love Our Children USA – Report bullying, child abuse and neglect; learn how to protect children today.

Education.com Bullying Series – Everything you need to know about bullying and more.

Isn’t it time we, as a community, we work together to put an end to bullying and school violence? Let it start at home, talk to your kids about these serious issues. Communication is the pathway to understanding the problem and working together to stop it!

For more info: Miami Herald, Associated Press, NBC Miami, LA Times, National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center, Parents Universal Resource Experts

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Sue Scheff – Parenting Difficult Teens

It stems back to “children need to have their self-esteem built up to make good decisions.” Today most families are either single parent or both parents are working full time. This is not the fault of the teen, nor is it the fault of the parents. It is today’s world and we must try to find the middle.  Troubled teens, rebellious teens, angry teens, problem teens, difficult teens, depressed teens; unfortunately are part of the society of adolescents today.

Communication is always the first to go when people get busy. We have seen this over and over again. We have also experienced it and feel that our children shut us out; this can lead to difficult teens and teens with problems. Although we are tired and exhausted, along with the stress of today’s life, we need to stop and take a moment for our kids. Talk and LISTEN to them. Ask lots of questions, get to know their friends and their friend’s parents, take part in their interests, be supportive if they are having a hard time, even if you can’t understand it; be there for them. 

This all sounds so easy and so simple, but take it from parents that have walked this path, it is not easy. When a parent works a full day, has stress from the job along with household chores, not to mention the bills, it is hard to find that moment. We are all guilty of neglect at one time or another after all, we are only human and can only do so much. We feel the exhaustion mounting watching our teens grow more out of control, yet we are too tired to address it. Out of control teens can completely disrupt a family and cause marriages to break up as well as emotional breakdowns.

We know many feel it is just a stage, and with some, it may be. However most times it does escalate to where we are today. Researching for help; P.U.R.E. is here for you, as we have been where you are today. Do you have a difficult teen, struggling teen, defiant teen, out of control teen, rebellious teen, angry teen, depressed teen? Do you feel hopeless, at your wits end?  Visit www.helpyourteens.com.

If you feel your teen is in need of further Boarding School,
Military School or Program Options, please complete our Information Request Form. Please visit Informational Articles for more beneficial information.  Read more about Parents’ Universal Resource Experts.

Sue Scheff: Teen Mischief and Criminal Activity

Friday was the last day of school for many kids around the country.  It is important to keep your kids busy in constructive and positive ways.  Bored teens can sometimes lead to trouble.  Teen Shoplifting, vandelism and more may haunt your homes – be an educated parent, take the time to create activities for the entire family.

Criminal Activity and Your Teen


For many kids, adolescence is a trying phase of life. Body changes, school pressures, and personality changes can be very overwhelming to your teen when occurring all at once. Because of these pressures, adolescents can be more susceptible to things like peer pressure. Whether it’s out of a desire to fit in or stand out, your normally levelheaded teen can be easily pressured into committing dangerous and illegal acts they might never otherwise consider.

Sometimes, these activities are relatively harmless, and can include things like dying their hair a bold color, or cutting a class or two. But often, many teens find the desire to fit in so strong they are willing to compromise their own morals to be part of the ‘in’ crowd. They may be more likely to experiment with drugs or alcohol, or commit other criminal activities, all for the sake of ‘fitting in’.

Though there are many dangers your teen may encounter, this site deals specifically with teenagers and criminal activity, like shoplifting, vandalism, and violent crime. Teens can partake in these activities for many reasons- peer pressure  being just one of a long list of possibilities.

My name is Sue Scheff™, and I am not only a parent, but the founder of the Parents Universal Resource Experts (P.U.R.E.)™. P.U.R.E™ came about after I found myself feeling alone and scared when my then-teenage daughter began experiencing troubles of her own. Those of us at P.U.R.E.™ know what many parents go through. We are here for you and want to provide you with resources, advice and the support you’ll need to get through trying times.

Click here for my website on Teen Mischief.

Sue Scheff – Parenting Teens

Are you at your wit’s end?

 

Are you experiencing any of the following situations or feeling at a complete loss or a failure as a parent?  You are not alone and by being a proactive parent you are taking the first step towards healing and bringing your family back together.

 

  • Is your teen escalating out of control?
  • Is your teen becoming more and more defiant and disrespectful?
  • Is your teen manipulative? Running your household?
  • Are you hostage in your own home by your teen’s negative behavior?
  • Is your teen angry, violent or rage outbursts?
  • Is your teen verbally abusive?
  • Is your teen rebellious, destructive and withdrawn?
  • Is your teen aggressive towards others or animals?
  • Is your teen using drugs and/or alcohol?
  • Does your teen belong to a gang?
  • Do they frequently runaway or leave home for extended periods of time?
  • Has their appearance changed – piercing, tattoo’s, inappropriate clothing?
  • Has your teen stopped participating in sports, clubs, church and family functions?  Have they become withdrawn from society?
  • Is your teen very intelligent yet not working up to their potential? Underachiever?  Capable of doing the work yet not interested in education.
  • Does he/she steal?
  • Is your teen sexually active?
  • Teen pregnancy? 
  • Is your teen a good kid but making bad choices?
  • Undesirable peers? Is your teen a follower or a leader?
  • Low self esteem and low self worth?
  • Lack of motivation?  Low energy?
  • Mood Swings?  Anxiety?
  • Teen depression that leads to negative behavior?
  • Eating Disorders?  Weight loss? Weight gain?
  • Self-Harm or Self Mutilation?
  • High School drop-out?
  • Suspended or Expelled from school?
  • Suicidal thoughts or attempts?
  • ADD/ADHD/LD/ODD?
  • Is your teen involved in legal problems? Have they been arrested?
  • Juvenile Delinquent?
  • Conduct Disorder?
  • Bipolar?
  • Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD)?

 

Does your teen refuse to take accountability and always blame others for their mistakes?

 

  • Do you feel hopeless, helpless and powerless over what options you have as a parent?  Are you at your wit’s end?

 

 

Does any of the above sound familiar?  Many parents are at their wit’s end by the time they contact us, but the most important thing many need to know is you are not alone.  There is help but the parent needs to be proactive and educate themselves in getting the right help.

 

 

 

Many try local therapy, which is always recommended, but in most cases, this is a very temporary band-aid to a more serious problem.  One or two hours a week with a therapist is usually not enough to make the major changes that need to be done.   

 

If you feel you are at your wit’s end and are considering outside resources, please contact us. http://www.helpyourteens.com/free_information.shtml   An informed parent is an educated parent and will better prepare to you to make the best decision for your child.  It is critical not to place your child out of his/her element.  In many cases placing a teen that is just starting to make bad choices into a hard core environment may cause more problems.  Be prepared – do your homework.

 

Many parents are in denial and keep hoping and praying the situation is going to change.  Unfortunately in many cases, the problems usually escalate without immediate attention.  Don’t be parents in denial; be proactive in getting your teen the appropriate help they may need.  Whether it is local therapy or outside the home assistance, be in command of the situation before it spirals out of control and you are at a place of desperation.  At wit’s end is not a pleasant place to be, but so many of us have been there.

 

Finding the best school or program for your child is one of the most important steps a parent does.  Remember, your child is not for sale – don’t get drawn into high pressure sales people, learn from my mistakes.  Read my story at www.aparentstruestory.com for the mistakes I made that nearly destroyed my daughter. 

 

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 them

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sue Scheff: Teen Cults – are dangerous for troubled teens

List of Dangerous Cults that Target Troubled Teens, with information provided by Sue Scheff™

There are a myriad of different cults threatening teenage livelihoods today. Below is a list of some of the most dangerous and well known cults, but this is by no means meant to be exhaustive, it is simply a sample of some popular groups to watch out for and educate teens about. Sue Scheff™ and other parent activists realize that providing a source of knowledge and information on teen and parent issues is the best way to help curb the dangers of teen cults.

The Twelve Tribes

The Twelve Tribes is group of religious organizations founded in the 1970s by Elbert Eugene Spriggs. While living in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Spriggs created a teenage ministry called the Light Brigade, which operated a coffee shop. Spriggs transitioned the group and its teen members into a communal living situation and into its own religious splinter group after his Church postponed a sermon because of the Super Bowl.

Armed with his new community and belief system, Spriggs opened a chain of restaurants called Yellow Deli to raise money for his cult. The group continued to grow and spread around the country with their restaurants, while gathering significant criticism. The Twelve Tribes attempt to live in the primitive way of the early Church, following the path of Jesus, and believe they must get rid of all their possessions and individuality to call Jesus their true lord. Twelve Tribe members live communally and share all income and possessions.

Twelve Tribes was accused of child abuse and child labor violations in their various businesses. The group has also been accused of racist and anti-Semitic nature in their rhetoric and some of the loudest speakers against the group are former members, who warn of many dangers within the authoritarian organization.

Children of God/The Family International

The Children of God, now known as Family International, is a global cult masking as a religious movement. The organization started in 1968 in Huntington Beach, California, as a splinter of the Jesus movement of the 60s. The group’s influence spawned the first organized anti cult organization, known as [FREECOG (http://www.xfamily.org/index.php/FREECOG)%5D

The Family International uses its unassuming name and religious overtones to mask its bizarre cult nature. In its early stages, Family International used sex to win followers and show God’s love. This type of religious prostitution was called flirty fishing, and the cult used this perverted evangelism to win over many disillusioned converts.

The Family International is far from family oriented, in the common sense of the word family at least. The cult uses sexuality is its main theme and has distributed photographs, videos, and writing that promote and show adult and child sexual interaction within the group. Family International has since reconciled these problems, but for over 20 years, they clearly abused children in their ranks. Now, the Family International demotes individuals who report abuse to law enforcement agencies or pursue legal action against an abuser to a lower status in the group, and sometimes makes them leave the cult all together.

The group was founded by David Berg, who teaches a theology based on Christian fundamentalism. Berg is regarded in the group as a profit who passed on the direct words of God before his death. The group follows the Law of Love, which permits any actions that are motivated by sacrificial, unselfish love and are not intentionally hurtful. However, cult members believe homosexuality in males is a sin, but female bisexuality is perfectly fine. Adult members of The Family International are encouraged to have sex with other adult members, regardless of their marital status. Family International also encourages members to imagine they are having sex with Jesus during masturbation and intercourse, and male members are supposed to envision themselves as women, so as not have homosexual relationships with Jesus.

The Unification Church (Moonies)

The Unification Church was created by Rev. Sun Myung Moon in 1954, based on Moon’s belief that Jesus spoke to him in 1935, instructing Moon to establish God’s kingdom on earth and finish what Jesus was unable to complete. Moon was arrested for preaching his beliefs in Korea but was freed from prison in 1950 by American troops. Moon’s religious system grew in popularity after his release and he sent out numerous missionaries to Japan and America, eventually moving to the United Sates in 1971.

Moon asserts he is the messiah of the Second Coming and that his wife is the embodiment of the Holy Spirit. The couple labels themselves as the True Parents.

The Unification Church is dangerous because of its financial and political power. Over 300 financial institutions and businesses provide a front for the group, ranging from clothing stores, to publishers and jewelers. Moon has also been invited to the white house and has spoken in front of Congress.

Despite his claim to be the messiah, Moon has spent time in American prisons for tax evasion. Moon also presides over mass weddings, one of which married 30,000 couples in Korea.

Moon’s book, Divine Principles, is considered to be inspired the by the word of God and is considered to be scripture among members of the cult. Moon uses his extensive and legitimate business system, as well as various philanthropic endeavors to mask his cultist tendencies.

For more information: Teen Cults

Sue Scheff: Youth Gang Statistics

teengangs21.jpgYouth gang activity is a significant problem in the United States. The following are statistics related to youth violence and gang activities:

  • 14 percent of teens are gang members (according to a survey in Denver)
  • 89 percent of serious violent crimes committed by teens were committed by gang members
  • Gang members are 60 percent more likely to be killed
  • The average age of a gang member is 17 to 18 years old
  • 25 percent of gang members are between the age of 15 and 17
  • Police reports indicate that 6 percent of gang members are female and that 39 percent of gangs have female members
  • Of female gang members:
    • 78 percent have been in a gang fight
    • 65 percent carry a weapon for protection
    • 39 percent have attacked someone with a weapon
  • Youth gang activity by area type:
    • 72 percent of large cities
    • 33 percent of small cities
    • 56 percent of suburban counties
    • 24 percent of rural counties
    • 51 percent overall
  • Youth gang activity by region:
    • 74 percent in the West
    • 52 percent in the Midwest
    • 49 percent in the South
    • 31 percent in the Northeast
    • 51 percent overall

For more information on Teen Gangs.

By Sue Scheff, Parents Universal Resource Experts