KidsMatter Parent Conversation Circles offer Support For Parents to help Kids Deal with Drugs, Alcohol, Stress, Self-Harm, Depression and More
Posted By newuser3392, Community Contributor
NAPERVILLE, IL — Parents who need support in learning how to talk to their children about the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse or social pressures now have it thanks to ParentsMatterToo. The initiative of KidsMatter includes a number of parent support groups called Conversation Circles. The Conversation Circles are intended to create a network that parents can tap in to and discuss topics related to: drugs, alcohol, anxiety, depression, bullying, cybercrime, competition, over-scheduling, perfectionism, self-harm, family relationships, stress, and anxiety. Groups are facilitated by trained leaders and a conversation circle manual with resources is given to each participant. Circles are initially run for three structured weekly meetings. It is hoped that groups will continue to rely on members for ongoing mutual support.
Conversation Circles are available for parents of children at all ages and grade levels from preschool through the teen years. Specialty groups are available as well including classes for parents of children who have been sexually assaulted or are in recovery. Additional groups will be formed as interests arise. Registration is currently open for the following circles:
• Parents of 10-12 Year Olds: Good Shepherd Church, 1310 Shepherd Dr., Naperville. Thursdays, 7pm. Facilitator: Beth Sack. Start date: 4/17.
• Parents of Young Children: DuPage Children’s Museum, 301 N. Washington St., Naperville. Thursday mornings. Facilitator: Mollie Willis. Start date: Beings Fall 2014.
• Parents of Preschoolers: Primrose School, 2915 Reflection Dr., Naperville. Day and Time TBD. Facilitator: Zak & Rachelle Kates. Start date: TBD.
• Parents of Jr. High Students: Washington Jr. High LRC, 201 N. Washington St., Naperville. Tuesdays, 6:30-8pm. Facilitator: Julie Nelson-Kuna. Start date: 4/22.
• Parents of Sexually Assaulted Children: Community Christian Church, 1635 Emerson Lane, Naperville. Mondays, 7pm. Start date: 4/14.
• Parents of Teenagers: NaperBridge, 231 S. Washington St., Naperville. Mondays, 7:30 pm. Facilitator: Cindy Rowsey. Start date: 4/21.
• Single Dads: International Business Centre, 1717 N. Naper Blvd., Naperville. Tuesdays, 7 pm. Facilitator: Josh Peterson. Start date: 4/22.
• Parents of Teens in Recovery: Linden Oaks Outpatient Center, 1335 N. Mill St., Suite 200, Rm 205, Naperville. Mondays, 7:30pm. Start date: 4/21.
• Parents of Jr. High and High School Students: Fry Family YMCA, 2120 95th St., Naperville. Tuesdays, 7pm. Facilitator: Rosemarie Massengale. Start date: 4/15.
• Parents of Elementary Age Kids: 360 Youth Services, 1935 Brookdale Rd., Naperville. Thursdays, 9:30 – 11am. Facilitator: Angie Michalak. Start date: 4/17.
• Parents of Athletes: Hopvine Restaurant, 4030 Fox Valley Center, Aurora. Thursdays, 7pm. Facilitator: Mike Coffman. Start date: 4/24.
• Parents of Athletes: Design & Promote: 1952 McDowell Road, suite 100, Naperville. Tuesdays 1-2:30pm. Facilitator: Liz Repking. Start date: 4/29.
“The whole idea behind ParentsMatterToo is to provide positive support for parents who have a child that is struggling in some way. Too often we have heard of parents who didn’t have a trusted network to turn to in order to get the support they needed to navigate these situations. Conversation Circles change that. The Circles put parents who are facing the same issues and struggles together in a safe, non-judgmental environment where they can discuss their concerns and challenges with others who are in a similar situation. These are not the typical parent meetings at schools. We developed these circles to help create a community and network for all parents,” said Diane Overgard. Project Manager for ParentsMatterToo (www.parentsmattertoo.org).
Conversation Circle facilitators have completed ParentsMatterToo training and include therapists, parent educators, and business leaders. Twelve leaders will facilitate ten circles. Each Conversation Circle is limited to twelve participants. Circles meet for three consecutive weeks for 90 minutes each time. The basic curriculum for each Circle is as follows:
• Week 1 – Awareness of Family Values
• Week 2 – Acceptance of Child’s Uniqueness
• Week 3 – Action to Build Parent-Child Relationships
All classes are free to participants thanks to a start-up grant from the City of Naperville, with additional contributions from Edward Hospital-Linden Oaks and Naperville Sunrise Rotary. Additional support is needed and interested businesses should contact KidsMatter to discuss sponsorship opportunities. These first Conversation Circles start in April and spots are filling up quickly. More information about Conversation Circles can be found at www.parentsmattertoo.org/conversation-circles/. Register at https://www.parentsmattertoo.org/conversation-circle-registration/.
In addition to Conversation Circles, ParentsMatterToo maintains an interactive website with local expertise on a variety of issues that challenge kids and families; as well as resources that help empower parents to be a strong and positive influence in their children’s lives. ParentsMatter Too also maintains a clearinghouse for speakers and programs providing expert information to parents, helping them to gain skills they need to effectively challenge their children’s’ choices. Visit ParentsMatterToo at www.parentsmattertoo.org.
About ParentsMatterToo: ParentsMatterToo is a network of connected parents committed to providing nonjudgmental opportunities to share struggles, provide support, and ultimately strengthen the fabric of families and the community. The organization helps build resilient kids and families who say NO to destructive behaviors and YES to endless possibilities. Programs offers parents a safe environment to discuss at-risk situations and be strengthened to challenge their children’s choices about social issues, drugs and alcohol.
Conversations with experts are intended for general information only, and are not meant to provide specific advice, diagnosis, and does not constitute professional care. If this is an emergency, please dial 911 immediately.