Because talking to teens about difficult subjects sometimes requires skills some parents may not have, the USRA Coalition is sponsoring a multi-media presentation and question-and-answer session to help with the task.
Parents of middle and high school students in Upper Saddle River, Allendale, Ho-Ho-Kus and Saddle River are among those invited to “How to Speak Effectively to Your Child or Teen on Difficult Subjects,” featuring the special one-hour presentation “15-Minute Child Break,” on Oct. 7.
Topics include identifying risk factors, strengthening parenting and communication skills and utilizing teachable moments when it comes to substance abuse, vaping, underage drinking and other critical issues.
“We all speak with our children, but are we reaching them?” Mayor Joanne Minichetti said. “Learning techniques so they will really hear what we are saying is vital.”
The good news: Research shows that children who “have regular communication” with their parents about their daily activities are two-thirds less likely to be involved in substance abuse, according to Partnership for a Drug Free NJ, which devised the program.
The American Academy of Pediatrics encourages parents to talk to their children about such important issues as early as age 9.
Vaping products and information will be available for parents to review at the USRA Coalition program, said Minichetti, who chairs the coalition.
Parents will be able to see, for instance, how easily certain vapes can be mistaken for a USB drive, she said.
“As vaping proves more and more dangerous, parents need to be proactive,” the mayor said.
The program begins at 7 p.m. at the Cavallini Middle School Auditorium, 392 West Saddle River Road in Upper Saddle River.
CONTACT (DONATE, ATTEND, INFO): Joanne Minichetti (201) 400-3495 / firstname.lastname@example.org
The USRA Coalition was created in 2017 in response to the increase in substance abuse – including prescription drugs – in Bergen County, New Jersey and throughout the U.S.
Its stated mission is to “educate and create awareness in our communities to prevent and reduce substance abuse and other related health issues."
The coalition provides funding, programming and resources to Northern Highlands Regional High School, as well as to the K-8 schools in Allendale and Upper Saddle River. Priorities have included mental health, vaping and opioids.
The Coalition participates in a host of community events -- Allendale Day , Friday Night Lights , USR/Allendale Bike Rodeo and Oktoberfest , among them – to help raise awareness, while providing programming for parents and students on mental health, alcohol and substance abuse and other topics.
The USRA Coalition also sponsors and hosts National Night Out among the four Northern Highlands communities, their police departments and emergency services.
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