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'Meet the Parents' series offers support for parents, guardians

conversationMaywood event has future sessions, topics planned

The first in a series of gatherings to providing social and emotional support for parents and family members of Maywood students was held March 31. “Meet the Parents” is a discussion group conceptualized by Maywood principal Carol d’Estienne and Laura Combs, deputy director for Educational Support Services (ESS).

“Time after time I’ve said, ‘I was just talking to another mom or a grandmother or a dad who was saying this exact thing,’ ” d’Estienne said regarding the similar experiences and challenges parents and family members face and her purpose in creating the discussion group. The first meeting included family members representing a wide variety of the student body at Maywood, although many had similar stories to share.




Such subjects as sibling rivalry, fostering independence, peer pressure, medical treatments and the complexities of mental health diagnoses and related psychotropic medications were discussed, as well as students’ prior difficulties in classrooms before coming to Maywood. Many parents have found significant challenges as their children enter puberty and are undergoing emotional changes.

Combs spoke on the topic of drug use and addiction, specifically, and the importance of parents initiating the conversation with their children.

“Young people’s brains aren’t developed. They may look like adults, but they’re not … It’s better that we have these conversations with our kids versus ‘don’t ever let me catch you doing this or that’ because then they’re not going to talk to you,” Combs said.

Those in attendance showed interest in meeting on a regular basis. “I thought the event was a great success — filled with laughter and tears as the parents had the opportunity to share their stories and be assured that they are not alone,” d’Estienne said.

The next “Meet the Parents” event is scheduled for May 25 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. with the topic “The Teenage Brain: Strategies for Understanding and Coping with Teen Mental Health.”

  • Click here for flyer and registration form.

Contact Carol d’Estienne for more information.

For more information on the teenage brain

 

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