ParentsCARES is a branded community education campaign that will launched in January 2017. It is based on a 2015 Parent Survey and what Danvers parents tell us are important parenting behaviors that help keep kids healthy.
Each month, look for a new parenting message, a new blog, a newspaper ad and a column with corresponding information, as well as tips on our website that embellish each topic. Post cards will be sent to parents of DPS students grades, 6-10, and area supporting businesses will hang our posters around town! There is a radio spot on Radio 104.9 and see our digital billboard on Route 114. Join us in sharing the positive things in our community!
May: Accessing Mental Health Supports
This month’s final ParentsCARE theme, accessing care, fits with May’s celebration of National Mental Health Month. Being a teenager is hard. It can be stressful. It is a time when minds and bodies are growing. They are meeting new people, have new demands on their time, and are exposed to new things. Sometimes these situations can seem overwhelming and they need support from a professional. This is normal. When surveyed, 92% of Danvers parents said they know where to seek professional help if their child is anxious, depressed, or using substances. Do you? If not, now’s a good time to learn about local resources, rather than waiting for an emergency. There are many providers in the area. Where to start? Talking with your child’s pediatrician is a good first step to guide you and it shows you care. In addition, DanversCARES has a list of local resources for parents and teens at www.danverscares.org. Check out our article in the May 11 edition of the Danvers Herald.
For resources check out National Association of Mental Illness, Massachusetts Chapter
April: Supervised or Unsupervised?
In Danvers, 93% of parents said they will not allow their teenager to attend an unsupervised party. Would you? Setting clear boundaries with teens helps them understand what’s right and what’s wrong and where potential risks exist. Since teens’ brains are not fully developed, and because they tend to make spur of the moment decisions without reflecting on potential consequences, it is important for parent to set limits that help protect their safety. Allowing your child to go to an unsupervised party could be risky. It is illegal for kids to drink under the age of 21 and it is is illegal for parents to furnish alcohol to minors, even if they are not home and drinking occurs on their premises.
Below are some articles for you to reference. The Essex District Attorney’s Office has good information on social host liability.
March: Time to Check In
If you have an established relationship with your teen’s friends and their families it makes it easier to check in with them on a regular basis. Share each other’s cell phone number so if you have trouble reaching your teen, you will have another way to get in touch with them. Encouraging your kids to spend time with families that have value health and safety may ease your concerns about where they are and what they are doing. Kids whose parents are supportive and set clear limits are less likely to use alcohol and other drugs.
Download this fact sheet to read more on this topic.
February: Dinner Time
It’s important just to spend time with your kids. You don’t always have to be doing an activity. Sharing meals together provide time to take a pause in an otherwise busy day, share a conversation with your teen, and enjoy each others company. There is plenty of research that support quality parent/child time as a foundation for growing resilient kids. An article is included in the link below for your reference. Stay tuned for the informational article by Lahey Behavioral Health to be published in next weeks Danvers Herald and posted here.
January: Social Media Safety
For tips from our school resource officers at the Danvers Police Department, check out the following article!