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President's Message - March 2019

Posted by Peggy B. Sapp, President & CEO on March 19, 2019 at 3:50 PM

It's Time For A Duel With JUUL

As our Safe Homes Smart Parents campaign kicks off, we think about all of the unhealthy trends facing our youth and what parents can do to protect their children. Right now, we are fired up about the 78% increase in e-cigarette use among high school students, as a result of JUUL Labs’ targeting of our youth. According to the U.S. Surgeon General, last year, 3.6 million U.S. youth use e-cigarettes. Talk to any teacher or parent of a teen and they will confirm the schools are overrun by JUUL and kids are showing real signs of addiction.

Some lucky ones will put away their JUULs before they’re addicted.  But many are embarking on a lifelong addiction to nicotine.  Many of those will continue to use JUUL for a considerable amount of time, and we simply do not know what consequences long-term use will have on their health. 

What we do know is that e-cigarettes are not safe.  And we know that nicotine use by children and teens negatively impacts their brain development.  Among other things, it makes them more susceptible to addiction in general. The larger fear is they switch entirely to cigarettes and other tobacco products that are even more dangerous.

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Topics: President's Message, parenting, safe homes smart parties, children, tobacco, parents, juul

President's Message - February 2019

Posted by Peggy B. Sapp, President & CEO on February 26, 2019 at 1:11 PM

How We Pass Down Values To The Next Generation

From the moment our children are born, everything we do, every choice we make and every action we may or may not take communicates our values. Our kids are absorbing our every move, soaking up our interactions with them and with others.

We want them to learn right from wrong, how to be kind to others, how to recognize and manage their emotions and how to be honest, responsible and fair. Not only are our children more pleasant to be around when they learn these things, but they are more likely to be happy, perform well in school and become a productive members of society. 

The loss of our great supporter, friend and philanthropist Betty Chapman this past week is a great reminder that we have the ability to not only pass values down to our children and their children, but we can pass down values in a community. Betty’s dedication to her community will continue to influence others to give back to their communities for decades to come.

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Topics: President's Message, parenting, lock your meds, children, opioids, parents

President's Message - January 2019

Posted by Peggy B. Sapp, President & CEO on January 23, 2019 at 10:50 AM

5 Steps To Creating A Happy & Healthy Family In 2019

Have you seen Informed Families’ Lock Your Meds signs at your local Publix Pharmacy store? Through our amazing partnership with Publix Pharmacy, we are reaching roughly 1.2 million people in 720 stores across Florida and 397 in the Southeastern US with the Lock Your Meds message. Wow!

A happy and healthy family starts when you create a safe and healthy environment for children.  This includes securing your medication, taking regular inventory to ensure nothing is missing and safely disposing of unused or expired medication.  

Also, keep tabs on your liquor cabinet - and resist unhealthy social norms that make you feel bad for not “teaching your child to drink” at home. The research shows that children who start drinking before age 15 are 5 times more likely to have alcohol problems at adults.

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Topics: President's Message, parenting, marijuana, lock your meds, family bonding, safe homes smart parties, alcohol, parents, family dinner

Parenting Classes: How to Have the Hard Conversations

Posted by Informed Families on March 22, 2017 at 8:00 AM

The questions are tough to hear and challenging to answer:

  • “Mom, why is marijuana legal in some states and illegal in others?”
  • “Dad, what should I do if all my friends are drinking at a party and pressure me to have a beer?”
  • “My neck hurts. Can I take one of those Vicodins you were prescribed after your surgery last year?”
  • “Mom, Dad, did you drink when you were in high school?”

These are important questions your teens might be asking. And even if they aren’t asking, the topics are still important ones to discuss with your kids. Unfortunately, these hard conversations often scare parents, who worry they might not get their point across, will sound too frantic when their teens are asking about pot or won’t know what to say beyond “just say no.”

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Topics: parenting, tips for talking with your kids about drugs

How to Enforce Family Rules

Posted by Informed Families on March 1, 2017 at 8:00 AM

Parents are the biggest influencers in their teenagers’ lives. With so many competing influences, parents might not believe that, and good luck getting teens to admit it—but it’s true nonetheless. For example, one survey discovered that kids whose parents told them that underage drinking was unacceptable were 80 percent less likely to drink. This powerful statistic underscores the importance of delivering straightforward messages about drugs and alcohol to your teens and setting—and enforcing—strong family rules.

Alas, those family rules can become a bone of contention with teens, who are at an age in which they are trying to carve their own independence. However, they can more easily make their own decisions, and work toward their independence, if they know and understand their parents’ rules and expectations. Here are some tips for enforcing family rules that, ultimately, will help protect your teen:

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Topics: parenting, family rules

President's Message - July 2016

Posted by Peggy B. Sapp, President & CEO on July 18, 2016 at 4:00 PM

Please Don't Eat The Cactus

This article is an old favorite, originally printed in 2006.

Do you ever feel life is moving too fast to tell your children how to to survive in today's world?

Let me assure you that this dilemma does not end with your children!  Just when you think you have completed your life’s work, you get grandchildren, whose role it is to teach us the lessons our children never taught us. We, of course, believe we are teaching them.

Let me illustrate this. Recently, my daughter Kerrie, broke her leg in a horseback riding accident, never mind that we have pleaded with her not to participate in horse jumping events until her 4 young children are at least in college. Subsequently, she was in bed for a week and was advised to remain on crutches for 12 weeks. Of course it was her right leg, so driving was out of the question.

I immediately flew to California to manage the household, which consists of her husband, Jeff, four children (ages 6-12), three very large dogs - a mastiff, an aging lab and a runaway-every-chance-it-gets German Shepherd, along with two horses. I felt badly having to take more time off from Informed Families, but I am now convinced that Informed Families should consider these visits field work and provide me hazardous duty pay.

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Topics: President's Message, parenting, children, parent peer group, parents, grandparents, grandchildren

4 F's Of Summer Parenting

Posted by Susan Held, The Confident Mom™ on June 15, 2016 at 3:31 PM

Things tend to change in the summer, less structure and routine can cause frustration – unless you have some set principles in mind. Just because it is summer doesn’t mean you are off duty as a parent or should your kids expect to backslide.

Here are four F’s of parenting for a summer full of fun and less frustration, and yes, they are good all during the year too!

 

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Topics: parenting, tips, summer

Parents, Respect Your Children This Red Ribbon Week

Posted by Informed Families on October 8, 2015 at 1:54 PM

This year's Red Ribbon Week Theme is "Respect Yourself. Be Drug Free." The theme reminds us that when we respect ourselves, we make healthy choices that support our bodies and minds and enable us to reach our full potential.

To give you a little background, Red Ribbon Week is celebrated in over a hundred thousand schools nationwide, reaching an estimated 80 million individuals annually, bringing awareness and support for safe, healthy and drug free children in the United States and beyond. Between October 23rd and 31st each year, schools organize Red Ribbon Week activities and celebrations, from pep rallies and essay contests to decorating the school and hosting special assemblies with prevention professionals and local celebrities providing a drug-free message to children.

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Topics: parenting, red ribbon, tips for talking with your kids about drugs

A Deal Is A Deal

Posted by David Altshuler, M.S. on August 20, 2015 at 4:35 PM

Of all the brilliant Dave Barry lines, "You can't make this stuff up" remains high on my list--an extension in a sense of Mark Twain's, "Truth is stranger than fiction. Because fiction has to make sense."

A Florida couple was recently arrested for giving marijuana and cocaine to their middle school children in order to encourage the kids to go to school, do their homework, that sort of thing.

Yes, I wish I were making this up.

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Topics: David Altshuler, parenting, family bonding, commitment

How To Tell If Your Child Is Drinking Alcohol

Posted by Matt Sanders, Triple P Positive Parenting Program on July 22, 2015 at 1:33 PM

Do you suspect your child is drinking alcohol? Here's some signs that your child may have a problem and some tips for what to do about it.
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Topics: parenting, underage drinking, alcohol, signs

About Us

We teach people how to say no to drugs and how to make healthy choices. To reduce the demand for drugs, Informed Families has focused its efforts on educating and mobilizing the community, parents and young people in order to change attitudes. In this way we counteract the pressures in society that condone and promote drug and alcohol use and abuse. The organization educates thousands of families annually about how to stay drug and alcohol free through networking and a variety of programs and services .

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