Friday, April 9, 2010

Do parents understand teenagers?

Spring Fling offers a chance to learn more over dinner


By SABINA DANA PLASSE
Express Staff Writer

Discussing issues of sex, relationships, drugs and alcohol use can be tough for parents. Here to help open the lines of communication, the Blaine County School District and other local entities are hosting a Parents Spring Fling.

The Parents Spring Fling is a free dinner with childcare at the Wood River High School commons on Thursday, April 15, from 6-9 p.m. Only 50 spots will be available and interested parents should make a reservation by Saturday, April 10. For reservations, call 481-2392 or visit donttellmyparents.org.

The dinner will allow parents to meet other parents as well as learn from teenagers inside and outside Blaine County about what teenagers are thinking when it comes to the subjects of sex, relationships, drugs and alcohol use.

John Beranek from South Dakota will facilitate the evening program, which started as a response to the Columbine shootings in Colorado.

"Parents have their heads buried in the sand and believe someone else's kid is thinking about sex, relationships, drugs and alcohol and not their own," Beranek said. "It's not just bad kids, it's all kids who are enticed by media and peer pressure on sex, drugs and alcohol."

Parents can enjoy a fresh salad, breadsticks, lasagna, dessert and beverages. The program will include a 12-minute "eye-opening" film with teenagers talking about sexuality in school. Teenagers will also join parents at their tables to talk with them. In addition, the evening will include a discussion on how teenagers are using social networking Web sites such as Facebook and MySpace.

"It's a special opportunity to learn and see through teenager's eyes," Beranek said.

The Parents' Spring Fling has been coordinated through the Idaho Department of Education as a free service to the community.

Other entities hosting the event are St. Luke's Center for Community Health, Blaine County Juvenile Probation, the Blaine County Community Drug Coalition, The Advocates, Council Circle and South Central Public Health District

Sabina Dana Plasse: splasse@mtexpress.com




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