Teen Help: Deciding if Residential Therapy is Right for Your Teenager

Helping your teenager at any age is a priority.

Helping your teenager at any age is a priority.

We are rounding up second semester and looking at spring break.  Parents are worried as their high school student (teenager) is still failing, refusing to complete assignments and still believes that education is a farce.

On the other hand we know our child is more than capable of getting A’s and B’s yet they are barely bringing home D’s.  College?  We are praying they finish high school.

What is wrong with society? Why are kid of the notion that they can just drop out of high school and get a GED?  Years ago GED’s were frowned upon–only for those that were either adjudicated or maybe medically necessary.  Now it is too easy for these kids to just drop out.

Then we have teens that want to smoke pot on a daily basis.  You know it is legal in some states. You know their parents do it.  Really, is it that bad?  Well, as a matter of fact – it is.

Marijuana, especially when sold on the streets to our kids, is more likely to be laces with other ingredients – possibly even  heroin.   What happens then?  Do you have an addict on your hands now?  Anyway you cut this – teens shouldn’t be smoking pot.  Cigarettes?  Let’s face it – it is bad for your health, but it doesn’t alter your personalty – and there are times when a parent has to pick and choose issues.

I don’t condone cigarettes – I don’t smoke them, but I wouldn’t look for residential therapy for them either.

Back to drug use and failing academics.  If your teen is nearing 17 years old and you are watching them throw their life away, it may be time to consider residential therapy – an emotional growth program.  Once that offers academics, therapy and enrichment programs.

I don’t believe in anything punitive, primitive or harsh – this is about building a child back up again to make better choices.  Giving them that inspiration to reach into adulthood with a  passion.  Yes, there are great programs that can instill this into teens.

For more information contact www.helpyourteens.com.


Teen Help for Young Adults: Dealing with an 18 Year old Child

Helping your teenager at any age is a priority.

Helping your teenager at any age is a priority.

At this time of year, it seems we are contacted by more and more parents that have an 18 year old or a 17 year old that is almost 18. If you have been struggling with your younger teen and like many of us, keep hoping and praying it will change, take a moment to think about if it doesn’t. Don’t miss opportunities to give your child a second chance for a bright future. Whether it is local therapy, a motivational program or a Boarding School, as parents we do what is best for our kids.

“My 18 year old is out of control and I am at my wit’s end! What can I do?” Anonymous Parent.

18 – 19 year old teens can be the most difficult to address simply because they are considered adults and cannot be forced to get help. As parents, we have limited to no control. Practicing “Tough Love” is easier said than done, many parents cannot let their child reach rock bottom. As parents, we see our child suffering whether it is needing groceries or a roof over their head and it is hard to shut the door on them.

I think this is one of the most important reasons that if you are a parent of a 16-17 year old that is out-of-control, struggling, defiant, using drugs and alcohol, or other negative behavior I believe it is time to look for intervention NOW. I am not saying it needs to be a residential treatment center or a program out of the home, but at least start with local resources such as therapists that specialize with adolescents and preferable offer support groups.

It is unfortunate that in most cases the local therapy is very limited how it can help your teen. The one hour once a week or even twice, is usually not enough to make permanent changes. Furthermore getting your defiant teen to attend sessions can sometimes cause more friction and frustrations than is already happening in the home.

This is the time to consider outside help such as a Therapeutic Boarding School or a Residential Treatment Center. However these parents with the 18-19 year old teenagers may have usually missed their opportunity. They were hoping and praying that at 16 or 17 things would change, but unfortunately, if not addressed, the negative behavior usually escalates.

In the past 12+ years I have heard from thousands of parents and most are hoping to get their child through high school and will be satisfied with a GED. It is truly a sad society of today’s teens when many believe they can simply drop out of school. Starting as early as 14 years old, many teens are thinking this way and we need to be sure they know the consequences of not getting an education.

Education in today’s world should be our children’s priority however with today’s peer pressure and entitlement issues, it seems to have drifted from education to defiance being happy just having fun and not being responsible.

I think there are many parents that debate whether they should take that desperate measure of sending a child to a program and having them escorted there but in the long run you need to look at these parents that have 18-19 year olds that don’t have that opportunity.

While you have this option, and it is a major decision that needs to be handled with the utmost reality of what will happen if things don’t change. The closer they are to 18 the more serious issues can become legally. If a 17+ year old gets in trouble with the law, in many states they will be tried as an adult.

This can be scary since most of these kids are good kids making very bad choices and don’t deserve to get caught up the system. As a parent I believe it is our responsible not to be selfish and be open to sending the outside of the home. It is important not to view this as a failure as a parent, but as a responsible parent that is willing to sacrifice your personal feelings to get your child the help they need.

At 18, it is unfortunate, these kids are considered adults – and as parents we basically lose control to get them the help they need. In most cases, if they know they have no other alternatives and this is the only option the parents will support, they will attend young adult programs that can offer them life skills, emotional growth, education and more to give them a second opportunity for a bright, successful future.

Do you need help finding young adult life skills programs?  Contact us at www.helpyourteens.com.

Parent’s Universal Resource Experts www.helpyourteens.com
Sue Scheff www.suescheff.com
Wit’s End Book  www.witsendbook.com

Educational Consultants or Parent Consultants

Reaching your wit's end on the Internet

When a parent first hits that brick wall of having a teen that is out-of-control they literally are clueless at who to call or what to look up on the Internet.

Being in the dark can lead to making rash decisions and this is something you don’t want to do when it comes to your child.

Some parents assume that Educational Consultants are the experts to turn to for placement of troubled teens and in some cases, that may be true.  However, like with many other purchases in life, you need to know what you are buying into.

Educational Consultants were originally designed to help parents with their teens to find the right colleges and with the application process. As many know, this has been replaced with CollegeBoard and many other websites online.

As the shift in teen help increased, they seemed to branch out into the residential treatment field.  Most have not experienced what you are going through.  Most do not know what you are dealing with at home.  Only an experienced parent that has been there really knows that feeling of helplessness.  Which is why I created Parents’ Universal Resource Experts, Inc.

We are parents – we have walked your shoes.  After experiencing an extremely difficult time with my own teenager – surfing the Internet – being scammed online – my teen being harmed at a program that misrepresented themselves, I decided to take a closer look at this teen help industry.

After years of visiting schools and programs, collecting years of feedback (from parents, students and employees), background researches, on-site visits, etc… We offer parents advice and educated tips on looking at schools and programs.

The last thing parents need to get involved in, in our opinion, is an EC (Educational Consultant) Shuffle. What is the EC Shuffle? Find out more and try not to get into the mix.  We do not employ this type of assistance for your needs.  “The EC I spoke with only wants $500.00, that seems fair.”   Remember the cliché you get what you pay for, yes, you will find some Educational Consultants that will only charge $500.00 but you also get limited services usually including the EC Shuffle with a list of programs.  Nothing more than you could have found on your own in a few Internet searches.

Some Educational Consultants are fair and don’t employ this type of method.   Please remember this is your child and no one knows him better than you.  Do you really need a middle person for your child?  Shouldn’t the program speak directly to you?  Save yourself $5000.00 and find the right for your child.  It may take you a day or two longer, but you can do it.  Sometimes it doesn’t take that long – it is all about knowing the right questions – and at www.helpyourteens.com (Parent Consultants)- we have helpful tips and hints to guide you.

As a Parent Consultant, we have walked in your shoes.  We have have had the troubled teen, done the reach, taken the time to know the background of the daunting big business of the teen help industry.  Take your time – do your homework.  This is a major financial and emotional decision for you and your teen.

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Teen Help Schools and Programs: The Internet Search and Confusion

Are you looking for residential therapy for your at-risk teenager?

Are they a good teen making bad choices?  You don’t want to place them in a school or program that has a hard-cord element, a type of teen that will actually create more negative issues.

After all, your teen is highly intelligent, was once a rising athlete, interested in sports, music or other clubs at school or even in your community.  Now they are hanging out with less than desirable peers and have become someone you don’t even recognize.

You hop on the Internet, as most 2012 parents do and start typing in all sort of key words – and before you know it – you are bombarded with all sorts of programs and schools and “sales reps” that seem to have answers – or so you think.

This is when you need to step back and understand that YES, you do need help, you do need an intervention and you do need to remove your teen from their environment enable to get them the help they need.  Let’s face it, therapy isn’t working anymore – if you can even get them to attend.

My mantra has been – learn from my mistakes when I wen through this.  Read – www.aparentstruestory.com – and you will see you need to take your time.  It is not to scare you – it is to educate you.

Here are a few tips to remember:

  • Look for programs that are not attached to “sales reps”.  You want to speak directly to an owner or director.  Someone that has a vested interest in your teen.  Someone that their reputation will be reflected on your child’s success (or lack of).  Someone who you can hold accountable through the duration of your teen’s stay.
  • Look for the ACE factor.  A=Academics – Always ask for a copy of their accreditation for education – be sure it is transferable back to where you live.  C=Clinical – Be sure the clinical staff is credentialed. E=Enrichment programs – These are critical to be sure your teen is stimulated in a positive direction to want to make better choices.  This isn’t about breaking your child down, it is about building them up.
  • Ask for parent references of parents with the same gender and age of your own teenager.  Also take it a step further.  Ask for families that are in your same geographical area.  This way maybe you will be able to meet with them and possibly even the graduate of the program you are considering.
  • Keep in mind – Short term programs – short term results.  Don’t get sucked into them.

I have many more tips and offer free parent consultation at www.HelpYourTeens.com.

Don’t reach your wit’s end and make a rash decision – made an education choice…. Be an educated parent – this a major emotional and financial decision.


Struggling Teens: When Parents Reach their Wit’s End

Raising teens today can be contentious and get your blood pressure boiling.  The lack of respect towards parents and most authority is very disturbing in today’s society.  I often say the sense of entitlement issue can be a large cause of today’s defiant teens.  Either way, parents are struggling with kids that are literally holding parents hostage in their own homes.

Here is a great guest post by Barbara Williams:

Working as a nanny can be a rewarding and fulfilling job for people who love children. However, getting along with the parents can sometimes be a challenge. The important thing to remember is, no matter how much you love the children, the parents are the boss. You need to make sure they are happy with your work because the parents are ones signing your paychecks. It might not always be obvious that you’re doing something to displease them, so here are 10 signs a parent is upset with you.

  1. Not speaking – Some parents aren’t good at communicating their displeasure so they’ll give you the silent treatment. Instead of a light banter at the end of the day they’ll only answer direct questions with short terse statements. If this starts happening you better find out if you did something wrong or if they’re just having a bad day.
  2. Exasperated sighs – Another unspoken sign a parent is upset with you is the exasperated sigh. Nannies who hear this better be on their toes. You should probably find out what the parent is unhappy about.
  3. Facial expressions – It’s important for nannies to be able to read the parent’s facial expressions. A furrowed brow or tenseness around the mouth could be a sign you did something wrong.
  4. Schedule a talk – When parents tell you they want to schedule a little talk, you may be in trouble. They may say something about having to go over a few things or the need to reevaluate your duties. Uh-oh!
  5. Send you home early – Another sign you made them unhappy is when they send you home early for no apparent reason. This could mean they are so upset they don’t even want to have you around.
  6. Day off for no reason – Getting an unscheduled day off could seem like a good thing at first, but you might want to beware. This could mean the parents are reevaluating your position. They may even be scheduling interviews with other potential nannies.
  7. Unreasonable demands – Some parents will do just the opposite and start making unreasonable demands when they’re upset with you. This could be their way of punishing you for whatever misdeeds you’ve done.
  8. Exaggerated niceness – Some parents will express their displeasure by treating you with exaggerated niceness. This forced and fake kindness that is dripping with sarcasm is a clear sign they’re upset.
  9. Kids tell you – Of course kids don’t have filters on their expressions like adults do, so they are more likely to tell you when their parents are upset and why. Nannies can often rely on the children to let something slip if there’s a problem the parents won’t tell them about.
  10. They tell you – Of course the best way to find out a parent is upset with you is for them to tell you. It’s much better for them to let you know right away if you’re doing something they don’t like so you can rectify the situation.

Everyone handles conflict differently and some people are very uncomfortable with confrontations. They’ll do anything to avoid unpleasantness. The best thing to do is have good communication between both the parents and the nannies. It’s not good to let problems fester when they can re resolved quickly and amicably. Nannies should watch for these signs that the parents are upset and work hard to resolve the situation.

Source:  Find a Babysitter

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Cross Creek Specialty Boarding Schools: Horizon Academy, Red River Academy – Teen Help Programs

Are you considering these teen help programs?  The sales reps have you convinced your teen can be saved by them?  Take 10 minutes and read MY experiences – and even the experiences of over 300 plaintiffs that have a lawsuit pending with them.

Are you confused yet? Looking for teen help and realizing this is a BIG BUSINESS?

So, your teen is driving your crazy.  You are at your wit’s end. You have finally decided you need outside help. You have exhausted all your local resources.  Local therapy doesn’t help, heck, you can’t even get your teen to attend.  Your teen is failing in school, he/she is very smart yet doesn’t want to attend school and believe they know it all.  Many say, “typical teen“, but as a parent, we know it is more than that.

Where did our good kid go?  Good kids making bad choices – and they don’t need to be placed in an environment that will make them worse in my opinion – learn from what happened to me!

As a victim of the WWASPS organization – I am often called or receive many emails about our (my daughter and I) experiences with them.  Obviously not pleasant.  Though I am happy to say the program she was at, Carolina Springs Academy, which attempted to go through a name change to Magnolia Christian Academy (or School) depending on the day you Googled it, is finally closed – it has been rumored some of the staff is now at their affiliate program – Red River Academy.  Maybe some at Cross Cross in Utah – or even Horizon Academy both in Southern Utah and Nevada.

Let me be clear for legal purposes – these are rumors – but if I were placing my child in program, I personally wouldn’t take any chances – and furthermore, Red River Academy and Cross Creek are clearly named in the current lawsuit which is extremely disturbing with allegations of fraud, abuse, neglect and much more – (click here) that is current.

Then we come to Horizon Academy.  Another alleged WWASPS facility.  Why say alleged?  Maybe they will deny they are affiliated – yet look at their staff, again, you will see they were once employed at other WWASPS programs.  Jade Robinson was at the program in Mexico (named in that lawsuit with alleged abuse and neglect) Casa By the Sea, then went on to Bell Academy, which didn’t last long, and I assume is trying to continue at Horizon Academy.

So when the “sales rep” tells you that “Sue Scheff” is a disgruntled parent – I say – YES, I was – you put my daughter in a box for 17 hours, she was mentally and emotionally abused – food and sleep deprived – I was complete defrauded – and she also missed out on 6 months of education.  None of which I had signed up for.  Grant it, this was 10 years ago – a lot has changed – but those original owners haven’t – so in my humble opinion – I wouldn’t trust any of their programs with my pets….. BTW: I am the only parent to have defeated WWASPS in a jury trial.  

Most of the other (many) lawsuits have settled out of court with silence agreements.  I don’t have one, which is why I can still share my story – which is why I get slimed online – which is why their sales reps have all sorts of stories about me – including “the jury made a mistake” – neglecting to tell you I won the appellate court too.  No one condones child abuse – period.

I have been called a crusader (and not in a flattering way) though I take it that way.  I have made it my mission to find the better programs and schools, since I do know what it is like to be at your wit’s end.  I know what parents need help. I am not against residential therapy, which brings us to many  of my stalkers that were formally abused in programs that believe all programs should be closed down.  That is being extreme – they are not a parent trying to save their child’s life and future.

I will share with you that there are more safe and quality programs than there are bad ones – it is just about doing your homework and research.  Today you are more fortunate than I was – you have more access to information and you can learn from my mistakes and  my knowledge.

Please – take another 10 minutes to read my story and see the list of programs that are and were once affiliated with Carolina Springs Academy – and from there, you make your own choices for your child.

I had one parent tell me that almost went to Red River Academy that actually said the sales rep said they could have their teen “extracted” within a few hours?  Extracted?  Really – is your child a tooth?  Please don’t get rushed into a quick decision – this is a major emotional and financial decision.

My organization is Parents’ Universal Resource Experts – and no matter what those “sales reps” or the Internet fiction – I don’t own, operate or manage any schools or programs!  We are about educating parents when they are looking for help for their at risk teen…. Don’t get scammed when you are at your wit’s end.

Oh – and when these “sales reps” send out these defamatory links about me – another FACT they neglect to tell you is I won the landmark case for Internet Defamation that awarded me $11.3M in damages for what was said about me online!  Lies and twisted facts!  Here is my recent appearance on Anderson Cooper.

This is strictly my opinion on my own experiences – you are free to make your choices…


Dear WordPress,

Please be advised that I am writing on behalf of Cross Creek Programs. It has come to our
attention that you are using the “Cross Creek Programs” mark, specifically found at:
h ttp://suuschcfCad vocate.wordprcss.com/2012/0 l/21/cross-creek-horiy,on-acadctny-rccl-rivcracadcmy-
specialty-boardin^-piot! ranis/’, is an infringement upon our registered US trademark.
77534100. The rights to the “Cross Creek Programs” brand name arc owned by Cross Creek
Programs and this trademark/copyright was registered on August 4, 2008.
The Cross Creek Programs mark is a widely known trademark for Specially Boarding Schools
thai has been used in commerce since June of 1987. My company has spent thousands of dollars
advertising and promoting its brand name. This investment has generated widespread and
substantial goodwill in the public acceptance for this trademark in the United States and
The unauthorized use of the Cross Creek Programs mark infringes on our trademark registration,
constitutes dilution of our registered trademark and is creating commercial confusion. Please
relinquish the lutp://sucschelTiidvocalc.wordpi-c.ss.com/2012/01/21/cross-creck-hori/.oiiacademv-
rcd-river-academv-specialtv-hoardiim-proi^rams/ to myself, the trademark holder.
Also, please be advised that said website is slanderous and according lo the WordPress Terms of
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This blog does exactly thai [SIC] by making libel claims and producing unsubstantiated claims against

If I do remove this – it will only be due to the fact that I am not playing legal charades with these bullies – that is exactly what they are – IMO – they obviously are looking for ways to get my story and my opinions offline – and now it is through trademark issues – that is fine – but as a parent looking for residential therapy – I hope you don’t fall for this – do your due diligence.  If you want to place with them – do it, but do it because you believe in your gut it is the best for your child and you have done your research, not because you are at your wit’s end and sucked into it.


Tough love and getting your teen the help they need – unconditionally

Tough love, when you reach your wit's end and want to give up, but you can't. It is your child and we never give up on our child.

Many cannot understand or grasp the concept of, Tough love or “not enabling” the child to ruin or run the family unit. Enduring life with a teen that is running the home can result in many uproars, conflicts, arguments, battles, and sometimes psychical and verbal abuse.  Tough love is exactly that: Tough.  Loving our children is unconditional, but we don’t have to like what they are doing or how they are destroying their lives.

There will come a time when a parent realizes enough is enough! This is the time that they need the support from outside sources, such as a Tough Love support groups (if you can find them and if you believe in their philosophy), along with professional intervention. This does not reflect you as a parent, nor does it place blame on the family, it is the child that is making the bad choices and the family is suffering from it.
Many times tough love is simply letting go. Let the child make their mistakes and they will either learn from them or suffer the consequences. Unfortunately depending on the situation, it is not always feasible to wait until the last minute to intervene.  If you see that Tough love is not working at home, it may be time to consider residential placement (placement outside the home).
Quality Residential placements work with the entire family. Once the child is safely removed from the family, everyone is able to concentrate on the issues calmly and rationally. Tough love can mean finding the most appropriate setting outside of the home for your child.
While in the whirlwind of confusion, frustration and stress that the child is causing, it is hard to see the actual problem or problems. With time and distance, the healing starts to occur. Tough love is a very painful and stressful avenue, however in many families, very necessary and very rewarding.
Tough love if used correctly can be helpful.  However if you are the type to give in at the end, all the hard work of standing your ground will be for nothing.  Actually, your weakness or giving in could result in deeper and more serious problems.  Please confer with professionals or outside help if you feel you are not able to follow through with what you are telling your child you will do.
Don’t be ashamed to ask for help, you are certainly not alone.
Learn more about quality residential therapy at www.helpyourteens.com.