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Helping Parents Navigate the Teen Years

Posted by on Mar 3rd, 2011 and filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

By Mary O’KEEFE

“When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around.  But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years.”  ~ Mark Twain, “Old Times on the Mississippi” Atlantic Monthly, 1874

Parenthood begins with a small baby that depends on mom and dad for everything but from the minute they take that first step they begin to walk their own path. A parent’s job is to guide, support and love their child but as most parents of teenagers know there is a fine line between guidance and conflict.

Luckily for Crescenta Valley parents there is help in navigating those teenage years. With support from Glendale Unified School District and the Crescenta Valley Drug and Alcohol Prevention Coalition (CVDAPC), licensed Marriage, Family and Child Therapist Pam Erdman offers parent resource sessions covering a variety of topics.

Erdman has 25 years of experience as a private practice clinician. She has conducted seminars for various organizations including the PTA.

“Linda Evans [former CV High School principal] had heard me speak at a PTA meeting,” Erdman said.

Evans invited her to speak at a parent seminar in the high school cafeteria. In the past, turn out for this type of event would be less than what organizers would hope but for Erdman’s seminar the cafeteria was filled with parents.

“Linda did a write up for that evening with the theme of turbulent teens and how to speak to their needs and issues,” Erdman said.

She added she was happily surprised at the turn out. She was invited back for a second event which also brought large crowds.

Shortly after the seminars the CVDAPC had begun having meetings at the school. In an effort to help parents Evans worked with one of the Coalition members to provide an ongoing parent resource where Erdman could cover issues in more of a one-on-one session.

Coalition cofounder Susan Dubin was on the parent outreach committee when she was introduced to Erdman and began working with her to present a schedule of issue driven seminars.

The Crescenta-Cañada YMCA donated one of its rooms for a Tuesday night session.

Dubin’s original hope for the Coalition was to have a place where parents could discuss their concerns and network to find solutions.

Erdman’s sessions took that scenario and expanded upon it.

“What Pam has brought to [the program] is more structure and direction,” Dubin said.

Dubin has received positive feedback from parents who have attended the Tuesday night sessions.

“I have received some very heartfelt emails from parents and at the meetings they will tell me what a difference the [sessions] have made,” Dubin added.

One of those parents who have attended many of the sessions is Mary Note.

“I have been going for about a year. I think [the sessions] are of great value for me. I have three kids and they are all different,”

Note said. “Parenting is a challenge. She shows us how to handle [issues] in a positive way.”

Erdman said her main focus regardless of the topic is communication.

“One of my more popular sessions is how to communicate with your teen,” Erdman said. “It always comes back to communication. It is really the bridge between parent and kids.”

Note said that her children do not have issues with drugs but she realizes that they must face a lot of other children at school.

“You hear all kinds of stories about drug and alcohol problems. You realize how close to home it is sometimes,” she said.

Note added that parents who have issues and those who do not can all use the information and advise provided by Erdman.

Erdman said that in addition to her guiding the sessions, parents have a chance to ask questions and talk about a particular issue.

“[In the sessions] you get other parents sharing their struggles,” she said.

The topic covered by Erdman is different each week.

“Every topic is designed to create a strong and healthy parent and child [relationship]. To do that well is a challenge,” Erdman said. “In every talk we [try to] strengthen that bond of love, respect and

communications.”

Parents with children of all ages are invited to the sessions. They are held every Tuesday at the Crescenta Cañada YMCA beginning at 7:15 p.m. Topics are as follows: March 8 – Tech Devices – how they can be useful but also monopolize your child’s time; March 15 – Sibling Rivalry; March 22 – How Teens Grow into Happy Adults; March 29 – When Friends and Family Struggle with Drug/ Alcohol Abuse. For more issues and dates visit www.cvyouthsupport.com

“It’s not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are.” – Roy Disney

think [the sessions] are of great value for me. I have three kids and they are all different,” Note said. “Parenting is a challenge. She shows us how to handle [issues] in a positive way.” Erdman said her main focus regardless of the topic is communication. “One of my more popular sessions is how to communicate with your teen,” Erdman said. “It always comes back to communication. It is really the bridge between parent and kids.” Note said that her children do not have issues with drugs but she realizes that they must face a lot of other children at school. “You hear all kinds of stories about drug and alcohol problems. You realize how close to home it is sometimes,” she said.Note added that parents who have issues and those who do not can all use the information and advise provided by Erdman. Erdman said that in addition to her guiding the sessions, parents have a chance to ask questions and talk about a particular issue. “[In the sessions] you get other parents sharing their struggles,” she said.

The topic covered by Erdman is different each week.

“Every topic is designed to create a strong and healthy parent and child [relationship]. To do that well is a challenge,” Erdman said. “In every talk we [try to] strengthen that bond of love, respect and

communications.”

Parents with children of all ages are invited to the sessions. They are held every Tuesday at the Crescenta Cañada YMCA beginning at 7:15 p.m. Topics are as follows: March 8 – Tech Devices – how they can be useful but also monopolize your child’s time; March 15 – Sibling Rivalry; March 22 – How Teens Grow into Happy Adults; March 29 – When Friends and Family Struggle with Drug/ Alcohol Abuse. For more issues and dates visit www.cvyouthsupport.com

“It’s not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are.” – Roy Disney


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