_B-PEN (Brookline Parent Education Network)
helps parents navigate the
social, emotional and developmental challenges affecting today’s teens and
pre-teens – common challenges that can lead to risky behavior. An outreach
initiative that collaborates with Brookline school administrators and PTO’s,
the organization’s goals are to facilitate parent connections:
* with other parents,
* with school and town resources, and
* with helpful information via written/electronic materials on a wide variety of
RESOLVE TO STAY CONNECTED
Each New Year tends to spark a list of resolutions for many of us -- whether we articulate them or not. Some are realistic, others fall by the wayside fairly quickly. One of the most important -- and easy --resolutions we can make as parents is to use every opportunity to stay connected with our kids, whether it's giggling together over silly TV shows or engaging in substantive conversations at the dinner table. Surveys continue to reveal that the number one reason kids make healthy decisions is that they don’t want to disappoint their parents. So it’s especially important to keep the lines of communication open. Check out this excellent tip sheet on Ten Ways to Boost Parent/Child Communication.
MEDIA RESOLUTIONS ALL FAMILIES SHOULD MAKE
Common Sense Media has put together an excellent tip sheet for helping families start the new year with Resolutions for Healthy Media Use. Check it out!
Did you know that according to DrugFree.org, less than half of teens with mental health disorders get needed help? Brookline's Wellness Committee Dec. 5 summit, “Youth & Mental Health: Balancing the Wellness Wheel,” generated strategies that will help us guide our students and parents in developing a "whole child” approach to youth mental health and overall wellbeing. Be on the lookout for the post-summit Parent Update on Youth & Mental Health.
PARENT NETWORK CONNECTIONS
One of B-PEN’s primary missions is to provide opportunities for parents to connect with one another regarding some of the common social/emotional issues all our adolescents face as they develop. To complement regular PTO meetings, grade-geared Parent Network get-togethers at each school provide opportunities for helping parents get to know, support and strategize with one another around common developmental concerns. **Check out the Discussion Guides for Parent Networks** created to support Parent Network meetings. For help starting a Parent Network or more information on B-PEN’s offerings and resources, contact B-PEN coordinators June Harris, firstname.lastname@example.org or
Karen Campbell, email@example.com.
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KEEP A HANDLE ON TEST STRESS
With mid-terms coming up at BHS, the stress level at home may start to rise dramatically. What can parents do to help? How can we be supportive without inadvertently adding to the pressure and anxiety? Read B-PEN’s Parent Network Update on Teens and Managing Exam Stress, which features one-page printable Tip Sheets as well as a list of reputable resources to help your teen (and you!) keep a cool head and a focused mind.
INCREASE IN TEEN DATING VIOLENCE
February 4, 2014 is "It's Time to Talk Day," a national campaign to raise awareness of the issues of domestic and dating violence. Did you know that among Brookline youth, 23 cases of teen dating violence and sexual assault were reported during the past year? Sexual abuse among students is increasing, and even if your teen is not dating or is involved in a healthy relationship, the odds are good that he/she knows someone who is struggling. The issue is even impacting kids at the middle school level, with increased sexual pressure and sexting. Click on our new webpage outlining "What Parents Need to Know."
ALL ABOUT MOLLY
Brookline parents should be on the look-out for a popular new stimulant called “Molly,” which is the crystal or powder form of the chemical found in Ecstasy. It’s been a popular drug at parties and music festivals recently among Brookline youth, who are attracted to its longlasting (6-8 hours) effects and mistakenly believe it is relatively benign. It’s not. Read more…
WHAT'S THE DEAL WITH ASK.FM?
Do you know your instagram from your tumblr? And what about the insidious Ask.fm, which is causing a lot of destructive drama at both the middle school and high school levels in Brookline? Check out this excellent primer on the social media apps and sites now popular with kids. Know where your kids hang out online and what they're doing.
SPOTLIGHT ON ADDERALL
Did you know that according to a recent national study, 11% of all teens aged 13 to 17 have been prescribed stimulant medication like Adderall or Ritalin for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)? That’s a lot of medication floating around, and for those who need it, these drugs can be extremely effective.
But according to a 2012 survey by The Partnership at Drugfree.org, in conjunction with the MetLife Foundation, an additional one in eight teens (13%) now reports that they have taken one of these stimulants when it was not prescribed for them. At BHS, 12% of all seniors admitted to abusing amphetamines not prescribed to them. Reasons ranged from self-medication and weight loss to study aids and recreational use – the sustained “high” from stimulants allows students to party longer.
CLICK HERE to read more...
Drug Free Action Alliance's report...