Monday, October 4, 2010

Workshops in Wood County to Help Parents Improve Family Bonding and Reduce Risk of Teenage Drug Use

In a workshop series called Guiding Good Choices® being offered in communities across Wood County, parents will learn how to strengthen their bonds with their children and reduce the risk that their children will use drugs.  The five-week program is being offered by the Wood County Educational Service Center.  Each weekly workshop will run from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on respective days at the following sites.

Elmwood Middle School every Tuesday beginning October 19th; North Baltimore Middle/High School every Thursday beginning October 21st; Eastwood Middle School every Monday beginning October 25th; and Indian Hills Elementary in Rossford every Thursday beginning January 13th.

Guiding Good Choices is an interactive program for all parents of children in grades 4-8.  In a lively and open atmosphere, parents will learn specific strategies to help their children avoid drug use and other adolescent problem behaviors, and develop into healthy adults.  Parents will learn to set clear family guidelines on drugs, as well as learn and practice skills to strengthen family bonds, help their children develop healthy behaviors, and increase children’s involvement in the family.

The Guiding Good Choices program, from Channing Bete Company, was developed by Dr. J. David Hawkins and Dr. Richard F. Catalano of the University of Washington.  Their research has shown that when children are bonded to their parents, school and non-drug-using peers, they are less likely to get involved in drug use or other behavior problems.

Studies of Guiding Good Choices have shown that the program is effective in strengthening parent-child bonds and preventing teenagers from starting to use alcohol and other drugs.

An alarming number of teenagers today will use alcohol or marijuana before leaving high schools.  According to the 2010 ADAMHS Wood County Youth Survey, 24% of Wood county high school seniors reported binge drinking in the past month and more than 15% report monthly marijuana use.

Workshop activities are based on Hawkins’ and Catalano’s Social Development Strategy, a theory of human behavior that identifies the factors that promote social bonding and positive behavior.  In a review of research conducted over the past 30 years, Hawkins and Catalano have also identified twenty factors that increase the risk of teenage drug use, as well as delinquency, teen pregnancy, dropping out of school, and violence.

The series is provided by the Safe Schools/Healthy Student Initiative through the Wood County Educational Service Center.  The workshops are free for attending parents.  Light refreshments, child care, and door prizes will be provided each week.

For more information contact Greg Bonnell at (419) 354-9010 ext. 228.

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