Parenting is not always easy but, thanks to Danville non-profit Teen Esteem, at least there is help available. The group's programs include presentations aimed at both kids and - through their brown bag seminar series, Lunch-n-Learn - parents.
"For 20 years, we have been reaching teens throughout the Tri-Valley area," says Julie Pamer, Teen Esteem's director of operations. "We have trained volunteer speakers who go into schools and talk about issues related to academic pressure that can lead to high levels of stress, anxiety, depression, thoughts of suicide and suicide, as well as prescription drug abuse, binge drinking, drugs, social media influence, bullying, cyber-bullying, pornography, sexting, and the consequences of sexual activity. Our speakers engage students on their level in an interactive and dynamic presentation. Students overwhelmingly comment on how our speakers understand their world and speak to them on a level that is relevant, engaging, and validating."
The group's experience in communicating with teens gives them a unique perspective on parenting as well. That is the key to the success of their Lunch-n-Learn seminars, which are held at sponsoring businesses at midday and tackle a variety of topics relevant to parenting now.
"Parent education is a critical part of what we do. Lunch-n-Learn is our brown bag seminar held during lunch hour at the workplace, with a speaker who has specialized knowledge of the topic," says Pamer. "We give them a list of suggested topics that they can choose from, ranging from the elementary school years through high school. Currently, our topics that are most in demand are 'Screens and Teens' and 'What Kids Wish Their Parents Knew.'"
'Screens and Teens' addresses some of the issues parents face in an era when smart phones and tablets have become ubiquitous. "Parents can't keep up on all the new apps, but they can make sure that they know it when an app is being downloaded. That way, they can be sure that they're familiar with what that app is and if they're not, they can research it," Pamer says. "Basically it's just knowing what your kids are doing. We wouldn't let our kids go out in public to a place we didn't know and we didn't know who they would be communicating with, and we don't want to do that online either. It's just a new generation of parenting, and we want to make sure that parents know what's going on."
Other topics offered include The Elementary School Years; Preparing for the Teen Years; The Middle School Years; Understanding Daughters; Understanding Sons; Just for Dads; Just for Moms; Depression/Suicide; How to Talk About Sex; Helping Your Kids Find Balance; Family Endurance; Hands-on Help for Today's Digital Family; Sex, Drugs, Alcohol, and Prescription Drug Abuse; Bullying and Cyber-bullying; and Parent/Child Relationships. A $100 honorarium is requested for the speaker but there is no other charge.
For additional information on Teen Esteem or to schedule a Lunch-n-Learn seminar, contact Julie Pamer at (925) 855-9941 or email email@example.com .
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