In the Know

Bringing in experts from across southern New Hampshire, New Heights’ next In the Know panel discussion, The Adolescent Brain: Words, Actions, and Habits—Communicating with your Developing Adolescent, will focus on adolescents and the family dynamic. Citing social media as just one factor that often “trips up” many parents, New Heights Executive Director Tracey Tucker said the discussion will provide tools and strategies that will benefit any caregiver.

“Parents today are navigating a world that is substantially different than the one in which they grew up,” she said. “This discussion will get right to issues that cause great concern for parents.”

Sponsored by Whole Life Health Care in Newington, the event will take place from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm on Thursday, March 31 at the Portsmouth Public Library and on Thursday, April 7 at Exeter Town Hall. At the discussions, speakers will respond to questions developed beforehand. Examples of the questions include:

• What are some of the most prevalent reasons communication between parents and adolescents erodes?
• Our childhood bond seems to have evaporated—where did my child go?
• Why does my child choose his fickle friends?
• What can we do to lay groundwork for future communication with my 10-year-old?
• When did I become the enemy?

One of several speakers at the Exeter discussion, Dr. Laura Rubin, founder of the Portsmouth Neuropsychology Center, will discuss how brain developments during adolescence impact “decision making, family and peer relationships, sense of self, and overall emotional well-being.”

“I’m excited to share with the community the latest research in adolescent development which can be used to better understand this critical developmental period and improve family relationships,” said Rubin, who will speak at the Exeter discussion.

At the Portsmouth discussion, Lindsey Ewald, education coordinator at Chase Home, will touch on several topics related to communication with developing adolescents, including appropriate boundaries, respecting privacy when appropriate, trying not to emotionally respond, and clear rules.

“I’ll also discuss appropriate consequences—positive or negative—and explaining choices and educating teens about the results of those choices, and normalizing teens’ difficulties with emotional regulation,” she added.

In sponsoring the series since its inception, Bob Girard at Whole Life Health Care said it is their belief that New Heights helps fill an important role in the community.

“We believe in their programs, their investment in the youth of our community, their staff, and the programs they provide—this series is just one example of their continued efforts at educating the community,” he said.

There is no cost to attend either panel discussion, which will include refreshments. For more information, visit www.newheightsonline.org, or contact bpawling@newheightsonline.org.

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