Submitted by Patsy Harber
Lopez Island Family Resource Center
Everyone who has lived through their 20s knows that being a teen or tween can be a tumultuous time. The highs are higher and the lows are lower, and growing pains are all but guaranteed. Navigating awkward social dynamics, blossoming acne, and an increasing desire for independence can be a challenge for youth as well as their families. Strengthening Families is here to help!
Strengthening Families 10-14 is a parenting and teen educational program aimed at building resilience among families, community agencies and educational environments. In the past three years, Lopez Island has hosted two Strengthening Family programs and helped facilitate two trainings where community members were trained to teach the SF program. There are over 25 qualified trainers among the many islands of the San Juan’s; most recently, 14 people completed trainings on Orcas Island in February 2020.
The Strengthening Families curriculum was developed by Iowa State University and are widely used all over the country and internationally for families hoping to gain better skills in growing love together. Activities included in the program help parents and caregivers learn nurturing skills to support their children during their tween and teen years so they can establish the foundation for a strong relationship. A variety of parenting ideas are shared so parents can build a toolset of skills that work best for them and their families. Simultaneously youth are learning too. Tools are shared to orient them towards a healthy future, including things like goal setting, good decision making, and how to handle stress and peer pressure. Appreciation for parents and caregivers is also encouraged as part of the program.
Another Strengthening Families program is coming to Lopez in March 2020. If you have a child who is in the 10-14 age range and this sounds like a program that could build skills in your family, we would love to have you join. Beginning at 5 p.m., Wednesday, March 4 at the Lopez Island Family Resource Center and continue for the next seven weeks (with a break for spring break on April 8) and ending on April 22. A delicious local meal is included and childcare is available for youth under the age of 9.
If you are interested in the program or have further questions, contact Katherine Ingman at Katherine.firstname.lastname@example.org or call 503-515-5939.
This program is made possible by the generous support of the Lopez Island Family Resource Center, the Lopez Island Prevention Coalition and a grant from the State of Washington DSHA/DBHR/DMA for funding the program. Many community partners also contribute time and meals and we truly couldn’t implement the program without their continued support.