Amesbury’s second SPACES event (Student, Parent and Community Educational Series) was a huge success. Over 90 parents, teachers and community members heard Jon Mattleman present his keystone presentation, “The Secret Lives of Teens and Tweens” on Thursday, November 29th at the Amesbury High School Auditorium.
“The Secret Lives of Teens” is a high-energy presentation that actively focuses on what teens are really thinking, what they fear, why they do not share more, and how adults can effectively support the teens in their lives. This presentation covers areas such as depression, suicide, ‘acting out’ behaviors, drug and alcohol use, and more.
Attendees left with new ways to understand teens and their behaviors (90%) and with strategies they can implement to more effectively communicate with their teens (92%). Parents were also able to build their confidence in their ability to connect with their teen (77%).
The SPACES team has a few events in the works for 2019 including a parent workshop, which will give parents an opportunity to talk one on one with local experts and get more specific skill building around communicating with their teens. Future speakers are being booked to discuss topics including screen time and drug paraphernalia recognition.
These initiatives have all been targeted at improving positive family communication, one of the 40 Developmental Assets that we are trying to build for youth in Amesbury. Only 37% of youth in Amesbury reported having this Asset in the Profiles of Student Life: Attitudes and Behavior survey they took in 2017. The first presentation was on how to listen and effectively communicate with teens given by Anya McDavitt,
Director of Youth Services at North Shore Community Mediation Center. If you missed it, you can watch the presentation HERE.
This work is done is being done as part of a larger regional partnership with the Essex County Asset Builder Network, a group of communities working together to improve supports for youth in their communities.