Saturday, May 31, 2008

Parents Universal Resource Experts (Sue Scheff) Is Your Child In Trouble?

Is Your Child in Trouble?

This article from the American Chronicle by Genae-Valecia Hinesman lists and details several signs that parents should watch out for, as they may indicate problems in your child's life. Many of these signals are also applicable for inhalant abuse, but this is a great article to read for any parent.

1. Erratic Behavior

"As young people carve out their own individuality separate from that of their parents´, and seek an answer to the proverbial question, "Who AM I?" they could clash more frequently with those around them. They may be happy one minute and sullen the next. Even this is normal. However, if your child starts reacting violently, either at home or at school, clearly something is seriously wrong."

2. Loss of Coordination, Glazed Eyes, Slurred Speech

"Without question, only two things can explain these symptoms. The first is that the person in question has suffered a stroke or a seizure. The second is that this person is inebriated. Both situations require immediate action. If your child is intoxicated, your first duty is to keep them from leaving the house until sober, for their own safety and the safety of others.

Once they are coherent, find out what they were taking and where they obtained it. If they were found unconscious, and taken to a hospital, medical testing will be able to provide a toxicology report. Encourage them to seek help, if addicted, and at least undergo counseling to learn how to avoid future dependency. Help in any way you can, but let them know that they must want to help themselves, in order to successfully change for the better."

3. Persistant Sadness and Withdrawel from Others

"Any child showing these signs for more than two weeks without interruption is clearly depressed. A change in eating habits and/or grooming has probably also been noticed. If so, something, or a combination of things, has triggered these changes. Your job is to find out what."

4. Honor Student to Dropout

"If your consistently top-notch student suddenly loses interest in school with grades in two or more classes plummeting, take heed! Straight A´s simply don´t turn into D´s overnight. Sit down with him or her and find out what´s happening in your child´s life.

Whatever it happens to be, let him or her know that you´re willing not only to help, but to listen as well. Refuse to accept "Leave me alone!" or "Nothing!" as acceptable answers. If they won´t talk to you, find another trusted adult with whom they will talk. Seek professional help if they need it."

5. Drastic Social Changes

"Friends and companions can and sometimes should, change a bit by the time your child leaves high school. Nevertheless, if your child´s associates suddenly are vastly different in negative ways from those they used to spend time with, this is usually a very bad sign. It´s even more telling if they now avoid or shun their old friends for no readily apparent reason."

6. Finding Unusual Possessions

"Discovering drugs, whether prescription, over-the-counter, or illegal narcotics that you had no idea that your child was using calls for immediate address. The same can be said for condoms, birth control devices, cigarettes, alcohol, and drug paraphernalia of any kind.

Recently, even glue, industrial products, and cleaning supplies have been used as inhalants (known among teens as "huffing") by kids seeking to get "high"-- often with fatal results. Finding these in your child´s room, pockets, or belongings is just as serious as finding a weapon. More than a red flag, this is a screaming siren!"

7. Legal Troubles

"Finally, if your child has been arrested at least once, this is clear indication that the situation is rapidly careening beyond the scope of your reach. By the time law enforcement becomes involved two or more times, your child has become society´s problem and the courts will soon decide his or her future.

Repeated run-ins with legal authorities can never be overlooked as "just a phase". There may still be hope, but only if drastic measures are taken and your child still cares enough to save himself or herself. Only so many chances are given to legal offenders. Don´t let time run out. Intervene while you still can."

These are all excellent points and can be of help to parents who ask, "is my kid abusing inhalants?" The warning signs are often subtle, but they are there.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Parents Universal Resource Experts (Sue Scheff) Do you know where your teen will be this summer?

By Aurelia -

School’s Out for Summer: Do You Know Where Your Teen Will Be?

These are questions most parents face during the summertime. Perhaps both you and your husband work full time, or work at home. Whatever the case may be, your teen has a great deal of free time, which can either be utilized to increase their emotional and educational growth, or to engage in activities which may be the catalyst for potential trouble.

Let’s face it, for some teens the first day of summer is looked upon as a license to run wild with no cares in the world except their own. While every teen needs a few weeks to unwind, if there has been no advanced planning on what your teen can be doing during summertime, the door is open for them to waste time watching TV or playing video games or hooking up with friends and just hanging out at the beach. This is a great concern for parents who want their teens to increase their physical activity and mental prowess during the summer months in a safe environment.

What can parents do to ensure they are not only aware of where their teen will be, but what they will be doing?

If you are concerned about your teen this summer, it’s time to have a serious conversation wherein you set up a series of rules. Here are some tips which may help in this regard:

• Establish a curfew for your teen, both day and night.

• If you are a working parent, ask your teen what he or she will be doing during the day. Inform your teen that permission is required before they venture out.

• Remain in constant touch with your teen via a cell phone.

• Invited your teen’s friends over for a Saturday barbeque. This will allow you to get to know who your teen hangs out with.

• Set up a routine of chores your teen can help with at home, and for which he or she can earn extra money.

• Plan family outings to museums or places of interest on the weekends.

• Take your teen to the library and choose a number of books to read over the summer. Since this is a requirement of most public schools, encouraging your teen to expand his or knowledge will help them advance in school as well.

• Limit the amount of TV and computer time. Use parental controls, which are part of all Internet service providers.

• If you are a working parent, plan a week’s vacation for the entire family. You can either choose a destination that has a great deal of history, or a place in which the family can spend quality time together and reestablish the family unit.

Summertime for teens can either be a safe, fun-filled experience, or it can be a time where worry is your constant enemy. Open communication with your teen is not only important, but is paramount in continuing parental control over your teen in every facet of their growth. While your teen may not like it now, they will thank you later.

Visit parenting my teen to plan For the Perfect Teen Summer and gain more ideas on keeping your teen out of trouble, motivated and learning during the summer.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Sue Scheff: Understanding Teen Decision Making

What was he thinking? How could she? If you find yourself wondering what your teen was thinking, the answer may be not much. Kids often make snap judgments based on impulse, especially when situations come up quickly, leaving teens with little time to sort through the pros and cons.

Some of those hasty decisions may involve cheating in school; skipping class; using alcohol, tobacco, or illegal drugs; going somewhere or being with someone that you do not approve of; or driving too fast. But the consequences can include losing your trust, letting down friends, getting into trouble, hurting education and job prospects, causing illness or injury, or leading to other reckless behavior.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Sue Scheff: Inhalant Abuse- WARNING SIGNS

Inhalant Abuse is a lesser-known form of substance abuse, but is no less dangerous than other forms.The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service has reported that more than 2.1 million children in America experiment with some form of an inhalant each year and the Centers for Disease Control lists inhalants as second only to marijuana for illicit drug use among youth.

However, parents aren't talking to their children about this deadly issue. According to the Alliance for Consumer Education's research study, Inhalant Abuse falls behind alcohol, tobacco and marijuana use by nearly 50% in terms of parental knowledge and concern. The Partnership for a Drug-Free America reports that 18 percent of all eighth graders have used inhalants, but nine out of 10 parents are unaware or deny that their children have abused inhalants. Many parents are not aware that inhalant users can die the first time they try Inhalants.

Sudden Sniffing Death Syndrome is caused in one of two ways. First, Inhalants force the heart to beat rapidly and erratically until the user goes into cardiac arrest. Second, the fumes from an Inhalant enter a user's lungs and central nervous system. By lowering oxygen levels enough, the user is unable to breathe and suffocates. Regular abuse of these substances can result in serious harm to vital organs including the brain, heart, kidneys and liver.

Even if the user doesn't die, Inhalants can still affect the body. Most Inhalants produce a rapid high that resembles alcohol intoxication with initial excitement, then drowsiness, disinhibition, lightheadedness and agitation. Short-term effects include headache, muscle weakness, abdominal pain, severe mood swings and violent behavior, slurred speech, numbness and tingling of the hands and feet, nausea, hearing loss, limb spasms, fatigue, and lack of coordination. Long- term effects include central nervous system or brain damage. Serious effects include damage to the liver, heart, kidneys, blood oxygen level depletion, unconsciousness and death.

Studies show that strong parental involvement in a child's life makes the child less likely to use Inhalants. Know the warning signs or behavior patterns to watch for and take the time to educate yourself about the issue so that you can talk to your children about inhalants.

Click here for entire article and warning signs -

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Sue Scheff: Deliberate Misuse of Inhaler found in 1/4 of Teens

We've had a few questions on the message board in the past months about teens potentially using their asthma medication to get high. One poster's friend had a daughter whose inhaler recently needed to be refilled every week when it normally was only refilled every two or three months. Another's stepson was misusing his asthma medication and "has been eating this pills as if they are M&Ms!"

The University of Michigan News Service featured an article about a new study looking at the prevalence of inhaler abuse in teenagers. The study in question was performed by researchers at the U of M using 723 adolescents in thirty-two treatment facilities. The study reports that "nearly one out of four teens who use an asthma inhaler say their intent is to get high".

The lead author of the study, Brian Perron, declared that their findings "indicate that inhaler misuse for the purposes of becoming intoxicated is both widespread and may justifiably be regarded as a form of substance abuse in many cases."

The study also found that teens that abuse inhalers are more likely to abuse other drugs as well as have higher levels of distress. They were also more "prone to suicidal thoughts and attempts than youths who did not misuse their inhalers to get high."

From a survey of the study participants, "about 27 percent of youths who had been prescribed an inhaler used it excessively. In addition, one-third of all youths in the sample had used an asthma inhaler without a prescription."

So why would teens abuse their inhalers? What are the effects? The inhaler abusers said that they experienced positive feelings of euphoria, relaxation, and an increase in confidence.The negative effects were "feeling more dizzy, headaches, rapid heartbeat, anxiety, irritability, and confusion."

The most common misusers of their asthma inhalers were females and Caucasians.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Sue Scheff - Difficult Teens

Are you struggling with your teen?

Visit P.U.R.E. - Parents Universal Resource Experts - Parents helping parents.

P.U.R.E. is based on reality - especially with today's teen society of technology including MySpace and other Internet concerns for children. Today we are educating children at much younger ages about substance abuse, sex, and more.

The latest wave of music and lyrics, television, and movies help to contribute to generate a new spin on this age group.

This leads to new areas of concern for parents. We recognize that each family is different with a variety of needs. P.U.R.E. believes in creating Parent Awareness to help you become an educated parent in the teen help industry.

We will give you a feeling of comfort in a situation that can be confusing, stressful, frustrating, and sometimes desperate.Desperate? Confused? Stressed? Anxious? Helplessness? Frustrated? Scared? Exhausted? Fearful? Alone? Drained? Hopelessness? Out of Control? At Wit's End?...

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Sue Scheff - Parents Universal Resource Experts - Teen Drug: Salvia

“They feel very out of control; it’s very scary. They will literally have blackouts, and what we are seeing is a lot of people having accidents because they lose their coordination. They aren’t able to think clearly, so we are seeing people fall, stumble, hurt themselves, and have driving accidents.”

– Heather Hayes, LPC, drug counselor

Today, more teenagers are smoking a powerful hallucinogenic herb that is native to Mexico. It is a potent drug, the effects are almost instantaneous, and because it is legal in most states, it has caught the attention of lawmakers around the country.

Henri and Thomas say they have a friend who’s tried it. It’s called Salvia.

“He smoked it, and then went to scratch his head … and can’t remember anything after that,” says Henri Hollis, 18.

Add Thomas Steed, 18, “His friend said he was just going like this [flailing his arms] for like 20 minutes straight.”

In most states, salvia is legal. However, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has salvia on its list of “Drugs and Chemicals of Concern.” On the streets and in head shops, salvia is also referred to as “magic mint,” “sally-d” and “diviner’s sage.”

“My friend just brought some over one day, and I was like, ‘Alright!’ says Nick Nehf, 18. “I mean, I’d never heard of it before, but he said he had bought it down the street at the head shop and I was like, ‘Alright, whatever.’”

“Salvia divinorum is a perennial herb that grows wild in Mexico. It’s a hallucinogenic. It’s what back in the 60s we used to call a psychedelic,” says Heather Hayes, licensed professional counselor (LPC) and drug counselor.

Experts say that salvia affects the brain nearly 10 times faster than cocaine, and targets the parts of the brain responsible for motor function.

“They feel very out of control; it’s very scary. They will literally have blackouts, and what we are seeing is a lot of people having accidents because they lose their coordination. They aren’t able to think clearly, so we are seeing people fall, stumble, hurt themselves, and have driving accidents,” says Hayes.

Many states are now considering legislation to ban salvia.

In the meantime, experts say, explain to your kids that just because something is temporarily legal doesn’t mean it is safe.

“Initially, when the drug Ecstasy was developed it was not illegal, but shortly after it was,” says Hayes. “And now we know that Ecstasy is extremely damaging to the brain -- we have people who die after one use. So that would be the analogy I’d give.”

“Anybody who I’ve talked to who has done it says they are never going to try it again because it was too much for them,” says Steed.

Tips for Parents

Partnership for a Drug-Free America and the Media Awareness Program offer these tips to help keep kids from using drugs:

It sounds simple, but one of the best ways to keep your kids drug-free is to show them you care. Simple gestures like an unexpected hug or saying ‘I love you" everyday can help kids gain the confidence to say no to drugs.

Look for teachable moments. Talk about a recent drug or alcohol-related incident in your family or community.

Explain the principles of "why" and not just "what" to do or not do.

Teach real-world coping skills: drug prevention can start by building a teen's confidence for a job interview or teaching a child how to rebuff a schoolmate who wants to copy homework.

Parents remain one of the strongest moral influences on kids, and they need to send a clear anti-drug message. Studies show that parental ambivalence increases a child's risk for drug use.

Focus on one drug at a time: there's strong evidence that media attention to harmful effects of specific drugs has made a difference.

For instance, a 1995 ad campaign about abuse of inhalants, such as paint thinners and glues, precipitated a drastic drop in use.

In 1986, cocaine use fell after extensive news reports on the death of Len Bias, a college-basketball star who died after using cocaine.

(Currently, Heath Ledger’s death has prompted drug rehabilitation for other celebrities as well as the general population.)

These examples illustrate the life cycle of a drug. Word of a drug's “benefits” spreads rapidly, but there is a lag time before kids learn about the dangers. Once the risks become apparent, occasional users drop the drug and potential new users don't try it. Parents and educators can make a difference if they pay attention to the life cycle of a newly popular drug and work to quickly spread the word about harmful effects.

Don't lecture: the use of lecturing is often cited as the single biggest flaw in the best-known and most popular anti-drug programs. Get kids more involved in the lesson, such as asking them to discuss how they'd react at a party where kids were drinking.

Repeat the message: the most successful anti-drug classes are those that are presented over the course of a child's school career.

Partnership for a Drug-Free America
Media Awareness Program

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Parents Universal Resource Experts - Sue Scheff - Teen Runaways

A Growing Problem for Today's Families
One of any parent's greatest fears is a missing child.

Each year, one million troubled teens from every social class, race and religion run away from home. Unfortunately, for American families, that number continues to rise.

Confused, pressured and highly impressionable teens follow their peers into bad choices. In most cases, runaway teenagers want to escape the rules and regulations of their family and household. Disagreements with parents leave them unhappy and frustrated to the point of rebellion. Naiveté leads them to believe they could survive outside the nest; and dreams of a life without parental guidance, rules and punishment seem ideal.

Click here for more information on teen runaways.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Sue Scheff - Parents Universal Resource Experts - Huffing Freon

As a parent advocate (Sue Scheff) I think there needs to be more awareness on inhalant use of today's kids. Huffing Freon can be so accessible to kids today - especially since I am in Florida - I think parents need to take time and learn more. is a good place to start.
Read More.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Parents Universal Resource Experts - Sue Scheff - Teens At Risk

P.U.R.E. is based on reality - especially with today's teen society of technology including MySpace and other Internet concerns for children. Today we are educating children at much younger ages about substance abuse, sex, and more. The latest wave of music and lyrics, television, and movies help to contribute to generate a new spin on this age group. This leads to new areas of concern for parents.

We recognize that each family is different with a variety of needs. P.U.R.E. believes in creating Parent Awareness to help you become an educated parent in the teen help industry. We will give you a feeling of comfort in a situation that can be confusing, stressful, frustrating, and sometimes desperate.

Desperate? Confused? Stressed? Anxious? Helplessness? Frustrated? Scared? Exhausted? Fearful? Alone? Drained? Hopelessness? Out of Control? At Wit's End?...

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Sue Scheff: Teen Drinking and Driving

It’s hard to get teens to really listen when adults talk to them about the dangers of drinking and driving. Your kids will listen to Shattered. The program features true stories from real teens whose lives were drastically changed as a result of drunk driving. Watch and learn together, and suddenly the pressure is off your own children as they relate to the kids onscreen. You won't be talking at your children... you'll be talking with them.

“I didn't think I’d ever be one of these people, you know, that drinks and drives and hurts people, but I am.” – Jayme Webb, her story, in Shattered

Shattered is a no-sugar-coated, heart-wrenching program, with facts and tips from experts to help parents and teens avoid the risks of drinking and driving.

“As teenagers, we always think we are invincible and nothing bad is ever going to happen to us,” says Whitney, 16. But bad things do happen. Nearly 3,000 teenagers die each year due to alcohol-related car accidents. It is the leading cause of death among 15- to 20-year-olds.

Comes with a free Family Viewing Guide with myth-busters about alcohol’s effects, sobering up, peer pressure, and resources to help you create a driving contract you’re your teens.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Parents Universal Resource Experts (Sue Scheff) Does your teen steal?

If you discover that your teen is stealing, it is important to confront them before taking any further action. If you *suspect* your teen is stealing (e.g., you have no witnesses or tangible proof), it is important that you approach the situation calmly and rationally- and do not accuse your teen of anything. Allow your teen to explain their side of things before you react. If they confess to stealing, it is important that you are clear in the position that you will not tolerate this type of behavior. Experts suggest a great way to dissuade your teen from stealing again is to escort your teen back to the store with the stolen merchandise and have them apologize and explain themselves to store security or management.

If your teen has already been caught in the act by store personnel, his or her options may not be that great. Each store determines its own rules about how to handle shoplifters. Some teens may be let off with a warning, while others may be banned from the store, and some may even be formally charged and prosecuted in compliance with local laws. If your teen is arrested and prosecuted, the value of the merchandise they have stolen will greatly determine the amount of trouble your teen may find themselves in. If the merchandise or money your teen has stolen is worth less than $400, this is considered petty theft. Petty theft is punishable by fine and up to six months in prison. If the value is over $400, your teen can be sentenced to up to a year in prison, and can be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony. The danger in your teen being charged with a felony is that this will stay on your teens permanent record, unless your teen is deemed by the court to be a minor and his or her record is sealed when your teen turns 18.

A felony on your teen’s permanent record can haunt your teen for the rest of his or her life. It can prevent your teen from college acceptance, future jobs, scholarships, apartments and can even play a role in future custody battles or adoption cases.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Sue Scheff: Teen Gangs

Teen Gang and Gang Violence has taken on a new light in today's age.

Gangs prey on the weak child that yearns to fit in with a false illusion they are accepted into the “cool crowd”. With most Gangs as with Teen Cults, they can convince your child that joining "their Gang or Cult" will make them a "well-liked and popular" teen as well as one that others may fear. This gives the teen a false sense of superiority. Remember, many of today’s teens that are acting out negatively are suffering with extremely low self confidence. This feeling of power that they believe a gang or cult has can boost their esteem; however they are blinded to the fact that is dangerous. This is how desperate some teens are to fit in.

In reality, it is a downward spiral that can result in damage both emotionally and psychically. We have found Teen Gangs and Teen Cults are sometimes hard to detect. They disguise themselves to impress the most intelligent of parents. We have witnessed Gang members who will present themselves as the "good kid from the good family" and you would not suspect their true colors.

If you suspect your child is involved in any Gang Activities or any Cults, please seek local therapy* and encourage your child to communicate. This is when the lines of communication need to be wide open. Sometimes this is so hard, and that is when an objective person is always beneficial. Teen Gangs and Teen Cults are to be taken very seriously. A child that is involved in a gang can affect the entire family and their safety. Take this very seriously if you suspect your child is participating in gang activity or cult association.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Parents Universal Resource Experts (Sue Scheff) Tips for Finding a Teen Runaway

If you are currently dealing with a runaway, act immediately. Do not waste any time in utilizing every resource you can to find your child.

The list below details a plan of action and tips for finding help.

Tips For Finding a Runaway

Keep an updated phone list with the home and cell numbers of your teen's friends. Using the phone list, call every one of your teen's friends. Talk immediately with their parents, not their friends, as teenagers will often stick together and lie for each other. The parent will tell you anything they know, including the last time contact was made between their child and yours. They will also know to keep closer tabs on their own child.

Keep an updated photo of your child on hands at all times. With this photo, create one-page flyers including all information about your teen and where they were last seen. Post these flyers everywhere your teen hangs out, as well as anywhere else teenagers in general hang out. Post anywhere they will allow you to.

Immediately contact your local police. It is advised that you actually visit the office with a copy of the flyer as well as a good number of color photos of your teen. Speak clearly and act rationally, but make sure that they understand how serious the situation is.

Contact the local paper in order to run a missing ad. Also, contact any other printed media available in your area; many will be very willing to help.

Contact your local television stations, as well as those in nearby counties. Most stations will be more than happy to run an alert either in the newscast or through the scrolling alert at the bottom of the screen.

Having a teen runaway is very frightening and it can bring you to your "Wits End". Remain positive and be creative: try to understand why your teen is acting this way, what they are running from and where they might be running.

These are times when parents need to seek help for themselves. Don't be ashamed to reach out to others. We are all about parents helping parents. Please visit Sue Scheff™'s Parents Universal Resource Experts™ to find support and professional help with your runaway situation.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Sue Scheff: Teens Flunk Personal Finance

By Connect with Kids

“It’s easy for these students to get the credit, go and buy a stereo, go and buy a television, go buy all this stuff that they want, and then all of sudden, they’re in a lot of debt.”
– Carol Pizza, economics teacher

Teenagers in the U.S. spend more than $150 billion a year, according to Teenage Research Unlimited (TRU), an organization that tracks teenage consumer behavior and attitudes. Yet, how much do teens today understand about basic finances such as saving, investing and borrowing? Not much, according to a new national survey.

In the survey, teens were asked several questions about money, including: If you lose your credit card, what’s your liability?

Here’s how some high school students answered:”One thousand dollars,” Blake guesses -- incorrectly. ”Five hundred dollars,” guesses David. Wrong again. But Lauren answers correctly: “Fifty dollars.” Next question: where will money grow the most over 18 years?

Lauren asks, “Savings account?”

Denise agrees: “Savings account.”

They are both wrong; Kelly gets it right: “Stocks.”

In a recent national survey, more than 6,000 12TH graders were tested, and they answered more than half of the questions incorrectly. College students also took the test this year, and they answered 38 percent of the questions incorrectly. Experts say that what teens don’t know about money can hurt them.

Carol Pizza, an economics teacher, explains, “It’s easy for these students to get the credit, go and buy a stereo, go and buy a television, go buy all this stuff that they want, and then all of sudden, they’re in a lot of debt.”

Pizza says parents can teach their kids about debt, bills and balancing a budget by giving them hands-on experience with the family finances.

“They need to encourage their child to help them with their bank statement every month, reconciling their checking account. Just let them be more involved; let your child know more about your finances, know how much your mortgage is a month.”

Pizza also suggests giving teens a credit card, but with strict spending limits, so they learn how easy and painless credit cards can be -- until they get the bill.

“We’re getting to the point where we’re almost in college and we’re going to be getting our credit cards,” says David, a high school student, “and if you get into a lot of debt then your parents are going to have to pay and you’re going have to pay, too, and it’s not going to be a good situation.”

Tips for Parents

Several factors, including the media, peers and personal successes and failures, influence children’s attitudes about work, money, spending and saving. But according to the National Council on Economic Education, parents exert the most influence on children’s ability to make sound financial decisions. Children need to see their parents practice sound money management – saving, budgeting and making rational (instead of impulsive) decisions about purchases. The Americans for Consumer Education and Competition suggests the following tips to help improve your child’s financial fitness:

Start financial education early by giving your child a weekly allowance.

Discuss the difference between “must have” purchases, such as school supplies, and “would like to have” purchases, such as a new video game.

Discuss family financial matters (family budget, routine shopping, purchase of a new car or home, planning a vacation, paying for college, etc.) with your child.

Discuss with your child his or her options when he or she receives a monetary gift (saving, investing, giving to charity, etc.).

Incorporate the media (newspaper articles, television, etc.) as a tool to educate your child about financial matters.

Work with your teen to develop a realistic budget. Set long- and short-term financial goals and the plans for achieving them.

Explain the advantages of waiting to make a purchase today, such as the latest gaming system, to save for another desired item, like a car or college education, tomorrow.

Promote shopping around before making purchases. This step generally assures a better deal and discourages impulse buying.

Use financial (checking account, credit card, etc.) statement reviews as a teaching aid to evaluate spending habits, promote sound financial practices and to instill fraud review practices.

Stress the importance of safeguarding personal and financial data, such as Social Security, personal identification (PIN) numbers and credit card information, as a means of preventing frauds like identity theft.

Foster charitable giving by urging your teen to donate some percentage of his/her allowance, however small, to the organization(s) of his or her choice.

The Americans for Consumer Education and Competition
National Council on Economic Education