Marist Counselors Present Conversations on Parenting Teens
Three years ago, Marist School’s Counseling Office began presenting Parenting Conversations, a series that provides parents with opportunities to learn and dialogue about important topics related to parenting teens. The inspiration for the series came from parents themselves when they responded to a survey sent by the Counseling Office. Always striving to meet parents’ counseling-related needs, Marist counselors work closely with administration each year to bring in speakers that help parents navigate the journey of parenting middle and high school-age children.
In planning meaningful programs and identifying speakers, counselors keep in mind two main catchphrases: “how to talk to my child about…” and “what parents need to know.” Topics for Parenting Conversations are chosen based on trends counselors see in their day-to-day work with Marist students and families. Social media is a perennial favorite and has been offered every year of the series. Most recently, Marist alumnus and parent Mark Galvin ’85, a social media expert with ePresence, LLC, joined two Brookhaven Police officers to talk about social media, laws related to online activity, and tips for preventing some of the social media-related situations they encounter. Later this school year, there will be a follow-up social media program, which will focus on helping parents utilize available technologies to monitor and regulate their children’s social media use. Other topics that have been covered in Parenting Conversations include suicide prevention, bullying, relationships, grief, life transitions, sexuality, stress, perfectionism, and fostering self-advocacy.
Another topic covered annually in the Parenting Conversations series is substance use, which Marist presents in partnership with FCD Prevention Works, a leading provider of school-based substance abuse prevention services. During the substance abuse presentations, parents learn about the latest trends from the same consultant who presents to students multiple times during their Marist careers.
In addition, the Parenting Conversations series has inspired other parent programming on campus. An initial one-night program on the topic of inclusion and diversity has grown into a collaboration between the Counseling Office and Marist’s Office of Inclusion & Diversity to provide ongoing parent programming on the topic, including speaker presentations and book group discussions.
“We know it’s hard to take time out of the busy schedules that all families juggle, but we hope that these presentations provide parents with opportunities for personal growth and discussion,” commented Lyndsay Murphy, director of personal and academic counseling at Marist School. “The world of parenting is always evolving, and the Counseling Office aims to partner with families for the journey. We’re open to ideas for future topics to cover, so feel free to reach out.”
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