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Plugging in to the teen psyche

Live from City Hall

Posted: September 13, 2008 10:34 p.m.
Updated: November 15, 2008 5:00 a.m.

Raising teenagers is one of the most challenging experiences that a parent will ever go through.

Oftentimes, teens do not seem to think before they act, and they can be so emotionally volatile, leading to confusion and even frustration both on the part of the teenagers and the parents. What's a parent to do?

Teen Scene Unplugged, an annual event offered by the city of Santa Clarita and the Blue Ribbon Task Force, strives to provide parents with the tools they need to help them understand, and communicate better with, their teens.

"Parenting/Understanding the Teen Brain" is the focus of the 8th Annual Teen Scene Unplugged, scheduled for Sept. 24, at the Hyatt Valencia, 24500 Town Center Drive.

The program will feature Tina Bryson, Ph.D., lecturer and parenting educator, and director of parenting education and development at the Mindsight Institute, where she works to help teach parents and professionals about the interface between relationships and the changing brain.

In her own genuine, practical and humorous way, Bryson will discuss brain science and how the developing teen brain impacts teen behavior and decision making.

"There's a part of our brain that doesn't fully mature until the early 20s. And during the teenage years, it's under heavy construction.

"Understanding teen brain development, and applying that knowledge, can help us make good parenting decisions that will strengthen our relationship with our teenagers and help them become the best persons they can be," said Bryson.

"Parenting teenagers is a monumental task and can be very challenging. Understanding the biological and physiological changes in our teenagers will help us parents connect better and strengthen our relationship with our teens," said Mayor Pro-Tem Frank Ferry, who heads up the Blue Ribbon Task Force.

The Blue Ribbon Task Force is comprised of community-based organizations, parents, youth, educators, law enforcement, businesses, and city staff.

Since its inception in 2000, the Task Force has worked with our community to educate parents and teens about different teen issues, including the consequences of abusing drugs, alcohol and tobacco, reckless driving, teen stress and gangs, among others.

Teen Scene Unplugged is free and open to parents and community members who work with teens. Parents may bring their teens along. Spanish translation is available during the program.

Frank Ferry is a Santa Clarita City Councilman. His column reflects his own views, not necessarily those of The Signal. "Live from City Hall" is a column provided to The Signal by the city of Santa Clarita.


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