_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
STRESS OF SENIOR YEAR
By senior year of high school, college application stress can start to take a real toll on students, who repeatedly confess they are overwhelmed by all they have to do in addition to the regular academic workload – college essays, visits, test prep, etc. BHS Peer Leaders contributed to a list of tips to parents on supporting your teen through this challenging period. Check it out and pass it on!
THE CHANGING FACE OF MARIJUANA -Revisiting the Conversation with Adolescents
With the legalization of marijuana in other states and the legalization of medical marijuana here in Massachusetts, cannabis is very much a part of our culture, and there is a shifting spectrum of attitudes. How does this impact the conversations we are having with teens? How do we clear up misinformation and misperceptions and prevent the development of marijuana abuse disorders among our youth? This was the focus of a recent forum bringing together Brookline students, parents, and school/health administrators and staff. Read the complete Parent Update to learn:
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, or mailto:email@example.com
Karen Campbell, firstname.lastname@example.org.
BRAINS, BRAVERY & BOTOX BROW
On May 1 at the Devotion School, B-PEN and the Brookline K-8 PTOs sponsored a free program for parents and educators on navigating the tricky middle school years. Educator and social leadership strategist Michelle Icard, author of “Middle School Makeover,” imparted some of the tips and tools she advocates in her book and on her website (www.michelleinthemiddle.com) for helping parents understand and effectively connect with their tweens. Check out some of the takeaways from her talk…
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Want to stay "informed, involved, connected?" Sign up for B-PEN's Parent Network Newsletters & Updates. And tell other parents -- help us spread the word!
KEEP KIDS SAFE FOR THE HOLIDAYS
The holiday season is a period of connecting with family and friends, of rituals and religious occasions, celebrations and parties. It is also a season often associated with increased alcohol consumption during many of these festivities. And as pre-teens and teens on school vacation find themselves with time on their hands, it can become a season of alcohol and marijuana experimentation. Be aware -- Brookline students say that their number one source for obtaining alcohol is sneaking if from the liquor cabinet at home. And with the legalization of marijuana for medicinal use, adolescents also may be drawn to pot under the impression that it offers a safe way to get high.
As a community, there are a few basic steps we can all take to keep our children safe and substance free over the school vacation. Check out B-PEN’s “Safe Holiday Tip Sheet” for middle school parents for ideas on how to talk to your kids about substances and set a good example on the home front. For high school parents, check out "Safe Holiday Tips for High School Parents" and "Keeping Teens Safe on New Year's Eve."
PARENTS URGE STUDENT MENTAL HEALTH AS A PRIORITY
Did you know that according to DrugFree.org, less than half of teens with mental health disorders get needed help? Brookline's Wellness Committee summit, “Youth & Mental Health: Balancing the Wellness Wheel,” helped generate strategies to foster a "whole child” approach to youth mental health and overall wellbeing. Parent members of the committee met further, coming up with three key recommendations, reflected in this letter to the Brookline TAB.
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...