Technology, stress, academic and peer pressure, and packed schedules are just some of the things that today’s teens face. In an effort to help teens and parents better traverse adolescence, Temple Beth El is hosting a half-day event for teens and their parents. With the support of Jewish Federation & Family Services, Children’s Hospital of Orange County and St. Joseph Health, the conference will feature a resource fair, workshops, keynote speakers and a teen after party with musical guest Darshan. Keynote speaker, Wendy Mogel, will be discussing her book “The Blessing of a B Minus: Using Jewish Teaching to Raise Resilient Teenagers.”
As the Director of Client Services at JFFS, I have had the privilege of being a member of the planning conference committee and have asked my fellow members what they would like the community to know about the event.
What is the main purpose of the conference? “The conference is going to bring attention to the pressures from school, peers and parents, as well as the bombardment of information learned through social media; this can really lead to anxiety and doubts about the teens themselves and their futures.” Amy Packer, Temple Beth El member and Mother.
The subject of communication came up time and time again in the meeting, and the need to help parents and teens get on the same page on tough issues. “This conference won’t answer all of your questions, but hopefully it will give you a better set of tools to use and the resources you need to support yourself and your teens,” said Randy Haveson, Speaker & Life Coach and Father.
What encouraged you to pilot this conference at Temple Beth El? “In the first stages of planning the conference, we were focusing on the drug and alcohol abuse issues that many of our teens struggle with, but then we became more interested in some of the core challenges that lead to those issues and others. In launching this conference, it’s Temple Beth El’s hope that the Orange County Jewish community leadership will continue to find ways to support our families in concrete ways by continuing to provide professional resources and to have open conversations about difficult issues.” Rabbi K’vod Wieder, Temple Beth El and Father.
What is one thing you hope attendees get out of the day? “I hope both teens and parents will learn to explore and face issues instead of being on autopilot or sweeping them under the rug, and that will result in better communication, more kindness and compassion for themselves and others, and the knowledge that there are resources available to help with the challenges of being a teen and raising a teen.” Marla Kaufman, Temple Beth El member and Mother.
I encourage all Orange County parents and teens to attend this informative, meaningful and fun day! For more information please contact Allison Johnson, LMFT at email@example.com.
Allison Johnson is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Director of Client Services at JFFS. She sees teens, adults and couples for counseling, as well as presents on relevant topics in the community.