On Sunday, Nov. 12, concerned community leaders will gather at Thomson High School to educate and motivate parents to take a stand against underage drinking.
The workshop will be facilitated by Diane Shearer, a family therapist and certified family life educator from Atlanta.
Held from 5-8 p.m., the workshop will help parents understand the dangers of underage drinking and will give them ideas and help in how to communicate effectively and set appropriate boundaries to keep teens safe.
According to Ms. Shearer, many parents are not aware of the dangers of underage drinking and often do not know how to address the subject with their teens.
"I am always amazed at how many parents think it is normal and okay to allow their teens to drink alcohol under their supervision," said Ms. Shearer. "The law is there for a reason. The teen brain is in a very important growth process, and the part of their brain that affects risk taking is simply not yet finished. When you add alcohol to the situation, it further impairs the decision making processes. Nothing good happens when teens and alcohol mix."
Through the use of video clips, demonstration skits, and roundtable discussions, the workshop will provide hands-on training to parents who want to improve their communication skills with their teens.
Parents will also learn how to construct a contract with their teens that is designed to build trust between parents and teens.
Tom Kerr, senior pastor of Thomson United Methodist Church and one of the event's organizers, said, "I'm hopeful that parents will take advantage of this workshop. I've seen alcohol use among teens destroy a teenager's future and bring heartache to an entire family. If we can prevent one of these tragedies from occurring, our time will have been well spent."
To learn more about the seminar or to register to participate, call Thomson FUMC at 706-595-3936. There is no cost to participants for the workshop, however, pre-registration is required in order to plan for handout materials.
Parents are encouraged not to bring their teens to the event.