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Glenbard Parent Series Takes on Teen Social Skills in an Internet Era

Expert Michelle Garcia Winner will make a presentation at the next Glenbard Parent Series program being held Thursday.

Parenting has always been a challenge, but at a time when kids are increasingly interacting by texting or chatting online, the challenge can be even greater.

The lack of face-to-face interaction can affect how a child’s social skills and thinking develop. The Glenbard Parent Series’ next program on Thursday will address this issue, with a presentation from Michelle Garcia Winner, an expert in the field of social skills.

“This is a talk that is going to appeal to all parents,” said Gilda Ross, Glenbard District 87 student and community project’s coordinator . “It’s a good follow up to the bully program [held in August], because this is the child who may be easily isolated.”

In this program, Michelle Garcia Winner will explore the basic foundations of the social mind and explore how to teach an empathetic mindset to children living in a technologic era, according to information from District 87. For many people empathy is intuitive, but today’s teens needs to be taught explicitly.

The programs are held monthly and parents leave with tools and skills they can put to use immediately after attending, Ross said. 

“Parents intuitively know what they have to do to parent their child, but they start to second guess themselves,” she said.

Teens used to want to spend time on the phone talking with friends, now all they need to do is text. “Parents often ask, ‘how do I get my child off the technology?’” she said.

The parent series programs started out with the goal to assist parents with students in high school, but with childhood challenges starting earlier and earlier, it makes sense to include parents with younger children, she said.  

Anyone is welcome to attend the programs, whether parents, grandparents or others, Ross said.

Smart Phones:  Diminishing Communications – Teaching Social Skills and Social Thinking to a Media Generation will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, at Glenbard North, 990 N. Kuhn Road in Carol Stream. A parent drop-in discussion will be held at 6:30 p.m., prior to the main program.

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