(This is a reprint from my Sacramento Cyber Safety Examiner column on Examiner.com)
On Nov. 12 and Nov. 19, just in time for school finals and holiday season, the Coalition for Placer Youth, is hosting a parent and teen workshop, “Teen Stress: Identification, Prevention, Solutions.” The Nov. 12 workshop will be held in Lincoln in Spanish from 5:30- 8:00p.m. at Glen Edwards Middle School and the Nov. 19 workshop is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at St. Matthew Lutheran Church, 5901 Lone Tree Blvd. in Rocklin.
Coping with stress in healthy ways is an increasingly critical life skill, and according to a 2012 Placer County teen survey, 88 percent of ninth and eleventh graders said they felt stressed, and 54 percent said they were always stressed. Christina Ivazes, the new Director/Coordinator of CPY, explains that substance abuse prevention for youth is about community prevention strategies that support the role of the parent in promoting healthy youth lifestyles, as well as to provide accurate education about current drug use and abuse trends. “We want to help parents recognize early warning signs of stress, and give them the tools to help respond in a healthy way,” she said.
The program will provide an interactive overview of the current trends impacting the life of a teen today, the stressors and symptoms, and review the basic steps parents and teens can take to mitigate the negative impact of stress. There will also be an opportunity to improve upon and practice communication basics essential for stress management.
Some stress is an inevitable part of life, and learning to deal with adolescent stress and to avoid preventable stress is good preparation for adulthood. Responding both positively and negatively to stress is learned through experience. When stress is overwhelming the child or teen, it can lead to physiological changes, compromise the brain development and immune system, and lead to health problems later in life including substance abuse, such as alcoholism.
A Center for Disease Control study on Childhood Stress with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, explains there are three types of stress: positive, tolerable and toxic. Toxic stress is chronic and can lead to health issues. According to the report updated in May 2011: “Toxic stress results from adverse experiences that may be sustained over a long period of time. This kind of stress can disrupt early brain development, compromise the functioning of important biological systems, and lead to long-term health problems.” Along those lines, consider texting and social media as an example of chronic teen stress that can be like peer pressure on steroids and inspire high anxiety.
Alan Baker is a founding member of CPY, and the chair of the Executive Steering Committee. “One of the things CPY has learned over the past decade is that substance abuse is a public health issue,” he said. “And helping youth and their parents pursue wellness [head, heart and body] is very strategic to achieve prevention objectives.”
CPY Director, Christina Ivazes has a Master’s Degree in Public Health with an emphasis on Community Health Education. Previously her training and background was in behavioral biofeedback (the biology of stress responses). She explains, “CPY hosts free quarterly workshops and/or forums for the Placer County region. We are working in collaboration with many agency partners to increase wellness equity in Placer County.”
Ivazes will be co-facilitating both workshops with family therapist partners from both the Placer County Mental Health, Alcohol and Drug Advisory Board and Lighthouse Counseling and Family Resource Center. For more information and to print both event fliers go to:http://www.coalitionforplaceryouth.org/events/ Space is limited. You can call 530-889-7238 or email at: firstname.lastname@example.org to RSVP or for questions.
ABOUT: Banana Moments Foundation is a non-profit education center founded in Roseville, CA to strengthen the parent-child bond in a hyper-connected world. The BMF mission is to restore families with the mustard seed of faith that declares liberty already belongs to the soul because one God, the Creator of all humanity, grants every human being intelligence and free will to choose what to believe, and that is power that can never be taken, but is easily surrendered to the bully, the drug or the device. To that end, ten percent of all BMF proceeds are donated to prison ministries. Your Donations are greatly appreciated.
Joanna Jullien is an author, educator and speaker on strengthening the parent-child relationship in a cyber powered world. She is a mother of two grown sons, the author of The Authority In Me: The Power of Family Life in the Network Culture, produces The Sacramento Cyber Safety Examiner column on Examiner.com, and is the CyberParenting advisor on The Fish 103.9FM. Her new book, A Google World in the Garden of Eden: Five Family-Safe Strategies for Texting and Social Media is now available for PC and all eReader formats including Kindle, Nook, iPad.
As the Sacramento Cyber Safety Examiner, my personal mission is to educate and inspire parents from all walks of life and social settings to realize their inherent authority to govern the home and educate the child about their own power; the personal power that comes from the spiritual resilience of your chosen faith. And so I write for Examiner.com to express the passion of my mother heart to a diverse audience.