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Military Teen and Parent Summit aims to bridge communication gap

Fayetteville Observer - 8/13/2019

Aug. 13--The Fort Bragg Family Advocacy Program will host a Military Teen and Parent Summit on Friday. [

The free, educational event is for military teens ages 13 to 18 and their parents with military identification from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the John D. Fuller Recreational Complex, 6627 Old Bunce Road, organizers said.

Though there are many resources for parents of infants and toddlers, the summit is "the first of its kind" for military teens and parents to connect them with resources and bridge the communication gap teens and parents have, said Shadia Young, a lead child advocate for Fort Bragg's child advocacy program.

"We're hoping this becomes an annual event," Young said. "We want to have a more proactive approach to helping teens be prepared for the school year and provide tips that they can apply not only for academic life, but life with friends and family, as well."

Snacks and lunch will be provided, there will be a swag bag giveaway with items to help during the school year and free selfie sticks will be given away while supplies last.

Pictures from the event can be shared by using the hashtag #FAP2019TeenSummit.

Specialists will be available to discuss scholarship opportunities, military options, college information and trade schools.

Check-in will be at 8:30 a.m., and the morning will kick off with a group of performers known as Drum Cafe, who will provide participants with drums for an interactive team-building performance.

Workshops geared toward teens include topics about anger and stress management and identifying healthy and unhealthy relationships.

The summit was designed to include parents, Young said.

"Teens feel their parents don't understand them, and parents feel their teens never listen," she said. "Having both teens and parents attend will help foster better relationships and communication and allow them to see the world from one another's perspective"

As a parent to a 16-year-old, Young said it's important for her to be conscious that her daughter is growing up in a "different world and society," than she did.

Teens can choose from three workshop topics in the morning and three workshop topics in the afternoon, Young said.

The morning workshops, scheduled from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., include an anger management session; a stress management workshop that teaches how to manage the stressors of school, parents and peer pressure; and a teens-only workshop about healthy relationships and identifying toxic relationships with friends and dating.

Retired Lt. Joe Laramie, who has more than 30 years of experience in the child abuse and neglect field, will speak during a lunch-and-learn session about internet crimes against children.

"He'll also speak about why teens need to be cautious not only when posting messages, but also with posting images," Young said.

Afternoon workshops will be from 1:15 to 2:15 p.m., and include creating a vision board with goals for the future; a speaking Teenglish workshop for parents only to teach teen lingo and how to communicate with teens; and a workshop on parent and teen love language.

Parents and teens can register online or call 910-396-5521.

Staff writer Rachael Riley can be reached at rriley@fayobserver.com or 910-486-3528.

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(c)2019 The Fayetteville Observer (Fayetteville, N.C.)

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