As our children enter the tween years, opportunities for formal and informal parenting communities often dissipate. We are less likely to be at school pick-ups and drop offs nor do we watch sports or dance classes anymore. Our children have become more independent, sometimes traveling to activities on their own and making their social arrangements. And yet, these are the years that parenting can become even more complicated as our children’s physical and emotional maturity present new and more complex challenges. So just as things get harder for us as parents, our networks of support actually become weaker.
In partnership with the Sandra & Bert Wasserman Center for Family Life at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan, Dynamo Workshops + Training is thrilled to pilot a new project that seeks to address the practical and emotional needs felt by parents as their children mature. Our JCC Grappling Circles for Tween Parents (ages 11-13) will offer a group of parents the opportunity to feel empowered and knowledgeable as they approach parenting their children through these pivotal years. To address challenging parenting areas like puberty, mental health and technology, we will introduce four types of resources to the grappling circles: research and data on particular issues facing tweens, guidance from Mary Pat Draddy, an LMSW and Director of Dynamo Workshops + Training and Dynamo Girl founder, Vanessa Kroll Bennett, and information from outside experts on specific areas affecting tweens and facilitated conversations amongst the parent participants. Our circles will be moderated, confidential discussions that will help us hone strategies and develop constructive language for managing the parenting issues that we are facing and help foster community at this stage of our families’ lives.
The use of the term “grappling” is intentional -- none of us has it all figured out as parents, but we are seeking to engage honestly and effectively on important issues facing our families. Join us at the JCC for this exciting new initiative as we seek to build a constructive, supportive and authentic community for parents of tweens.