I offered my Keeping Teens and Tweens Out of Trouble workshop at the Pemberton Library on Tuesday night and I was just so tremendously impressed with the parents of Pemberton. We had about twenty-five participants for 2 hours, and everyone was so interested. We even had a lot of fun (shocking, I know!).
In the workshop, we spent a lot of time talking about the Developmental Assets. It’s a well recognized list of “building blocks” for tweens and teens that promote healthy development (and the avoidance of high risk behaviors [eg. substance abuse, risky sex, violence etc]). As part of the exercise, each parent wrote on a Post-It note one asset they wanted to work on building for their child. Then we switched Post-It’s so that each parent could share their own idea of how to build that asset in a child. At the end of the workshop, we left the Post-It notes on the side, so folks could pick up their own (without having to admit which asset they wanted to work on building in their child). A few parents left theirs behind, so let me share some of these ideas! I’ve added a couple of my own ideas (in italics).
Ideas on How to Build Positive Peer Influence (#15)
- Ask your child to tell you the positive attributes about their peer
- Find out positive activities that your child’s peer does
- Suggest/introduce positive activities/things your child can do with their peer
- Convince another parent to bring along their teen (who you think will be a positive influence) to an activity your teen wants to do with you (eg. host a cooking class- all four of you cook together).
- Encourage your teen to be involved in some new club/group
Ideas on Building One Hour/Week with a Religious Community (#19)
- Go with your teen to church and see if they like it. (You don’t have to like it!)
- Find out about youth programs through Pemberton Christian Fellowship
- Church at the Community Centre is fun and welcoming for teens
- (Suzanne’s idea) Once/month visit a religious community gathering to explore religious difference & understanding
Ideas on Building Achievement Motivation (#21)
- Know what is coming so that you can help to avoid procrastination
- Get involved with homework
- Allocate the time for him/her to get their work done, followed up with rewarding time after the work is done
- Celebrate successes
- Work on weak points
- Parent/teacher involvement (being in discussion with teachers, helps your child better understand that school really matters)
- Reward their hard work! Think if you didn’t get paid for (or were inspired by) your work, would you still do it? Figure out what real rewards would be for your teen- ask him/her.
- Get them to a university campus, to meet with students in topics they’re interested in.
Thanks again to all the positive Pemberton parents!
For the Pemberton parents: I promised one of you that I’d blog about “Power Plays”- teaching teens about power dynamics and power & control. I still have it on my To Do list. I’ll do it over Easter weekend!