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Parenting group to meet tomorrow

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Think your teen is facing problems at school but won’t tell you about it? How does sex, drugs, and violence figure into the lives of youths?

What kind of pressure are kids under these days anyway?

These and other topics are ones two local organizers wanting to form a new support group for parents of teenagers are looking to discuss at an inaugural meeting tomorrow at 7 p.m. in Room 138 at Fort Frances High School.

“It’s a session where parents can come together and discuss things. Some parents feel they’re floundering,” said Vickie Kennedy, who is spearheading the parents’ group along with Caren Fagerdahl.

“There’s a number of issue a teen faces that maybe parents want to know more about,” she added. “Through the years, the issues have changed, and sometimes it’s difficult to know the magnitude of the some of the problems teens face.

“We need to be realistic as parents to help them and to help ourselves.”

Kennedy noted the idea for the group came from the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) program being taught at Fort High, as students would learn about issues such as bullying, drugs, alcohol, and crime at school, but not necessarily bring that information back home with them.

“There should be a follow-up, some kind of communication established between parents and teens,” Kennedy remarked. “There is a parent D.A.R.E. program, but it’s not running here yet. It involves certain resources.

“In the meantime, I want to know how we can help one another be better parents,” she added.

Kennedy said the response to the first meeting will determine the future of the parenting group.

“We want to bring people together and get a direction,” she noted. “This first meeting is really a meeting of the minds. What kinds of things do parents need to know about?

“We’ll determine at that time what’s the best day of the week to meet. Future meetings might be weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly—we’ll see.

“We hope there’s a good turnout but if there’s only three or four parents, that’s good,” she added.

While Kennedy hopes to get more experts on various topics to attend future meetings, Fort Frances OPP Cst. Al MacDonald, who teaches the D.A.R.E. program at Fort High, has confirmed his involvement in the group as both a resource and a parent.

“I’ll be there to relate to the parents what’s being taught through the D.A.R.E. program, and have them understand what it’s about,” Cst. MacDonald said Friday.

For more information, contact Kennedy (274-3975) or Fagerdahl (274-0435).

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