By Elizabeth Marie Himchak
Parents can get insights into what their teenagers wish their moms and dads knew at a free forum next week in Poway.
“What I Wish My Parents Knew...” will be presented from 7-8:45 p.m. Wednesday, March 6 in the Poway Center for the Performing Arts, 15498 Espola Road, with breakout sessions at the nearby Poway High School.
Admission is free, but tickets are required. They can be obtained in advance from the administrative offices at Poway High, 15500 Espola Road, and Del Norte High, 16601 Nighthawk Lane in 4S Ranch.
Traci Barker-Ball, Poway High’s student services coordinator, said the parent forum was created in response to a Poway town hall meeting last year where community members brainstormed ways to keep their children from using drugs and alcohol. Local religious groups offered assistance and in three subsequent meetings around 80 clergy representing more than 45 local faith-based groups helped devise a plan.
Joining in the effort were Poway High Principal Scott Fisher, Del Norte Principal Greg Mizel and others in the community. Both schools have students assisting with the forum, their second endeavor.
The first, a Feb. 12 forum, attracted 542 attendees. It was because of the high response and positive feedback that the March 6 event was scheduled, Barker-Ball said.
The forum will begin at 7 p.m. with two short videos, including one in which Del Norte and Poway students talk about what they wish their parents knew about the teenagers’ lives.
This will be followed with break-out sessions, which parents can attend one. They will be on drugs and alcohol, depression, creating boundaries that actually work, communication, social media and academic pressure.
“In the break-out sessions, parents will be divided into groups of four,” Barker-Ball said. “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.”
Barker-Ball said the goal of the forum is to make “parents feel empowered to work with their teens with some new and practical tips and a newfound knowledge.”
For questions, call 858-748-0245 ext. 0.