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PUSD Teens Share ‘What I Wish My Parents Knew’

A forum co-hosted by the school district and religious organizations aims to help parents learn how to talk to their teens about drugs and other issues.

Local parents can find out what their teens wish they knew about drugs, depression, academic pressure and other difficult topics during a special forum set for Wednesday night, co-hosted by local school and religious leaders.

The goal of the forum—titled "What I Wish My Parents Knew"—is to help "parents feel empowered to work with their teens with some new practical tips and a newfound knowledge," said Traci Barker-Ball, Poway High School's student services coordinator who is helping organize the event, in an email.

The forum is scheduled from 7 to 8:45 p.m. Wednesday at the Poway Center for the Performing Arts, 15498 Espola Rd., Poway.

Barker-Ball is part of a committee—consisting of the principals from Poway and Del Norte high schools, one parent and two figures from the local religious community—that was formed after a Feb. 12 town hall meeting with more than 500 attendees about how to keep kids off drugs. The committee met three times with about 80 clergy members from more than 45 faith-based organizations, and together came up with the idea for another parents forum.

The forum will cover drug use, depression, boundaries, communication, social media and academic pressure. After two shorts introduction videos, the parents will participate in breakout sessions and then come together to discuss what they learned.

Free tickets are required for admission and can be picked up at the front offices of Poway High School (15500 Espola Rd.) or Del Norte High School (16601 Nighthawk Lane, San Diego).

The forum format:

  • 7 p.m. Welcome and two short videos (one shows news clips from around the nation that affect our teens and the other one has students from Del Norte and Poway High talking about what they wish their parents knew).
  • 7:35 p.m. Parents are dismissed to go to one of the following break-out sessions:
  • Drugs/Alcohol (Facilitator: Scott Fisher, PHS Principal. Expert: Will Wooten, PsyCare)
  • Depression (Facilitator: Traci Barker-Ball, PHS Student Services Coordinator. Expert: Stan Collins, consultant, Suicide Prevention Council of SD and CA Statewide Social Marketing Campaign for Suicide Prevention)
  • Guardrails—Creating Boundaries that Actually Work (Facilitator: Daryl Nuss. expert: Shelley Cowper-Smith, family therapeutic counselor).
  • Communication (Facilitator: Susie Berner, PHS parent. Expert:  Diana Sterling, international speaker and certified Family Coach; author of the Parent as Coach Approach: The Seven Way to Coach Your Teen in the Game of Life).
  • Social Media (Facilitators: John Ettore, senior pastor of the Gathering Place Church; Jesse Winkler, senior pastor of Westview Church; and Josiah Elias, youth pastor of The Connection Church).
  • Academic Pressure (Facilitator: Greg Mizel, Del Norte High principal and students from PHS and Del Norte High School).

In the break-out sessions, parents will be divided into groups of four. They will listen to a brief presentation and then be given questions to answer among their small groups. The parents become the “teachers” and “experts” of the sessions.  After each question the facilitators and experts will add in any additional tips before going on to another question.

For more information call Linda Severino 858-748-0245 or email lseverino@powayusd.com.

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