Teen Connect

teen connect

Relationships with Parents Matter!

Do you ever feel that your pre-teen or teen doesn’t listen to you? Do you sometimes feel pushed away? You might wonder if parents really matter. And yet research shows that strong relationships with parents protect youth from risk during adolescence and helps them thrive! This is attachment.

What is Teen Connect?

Teen Connect is a group program for parents and other caregivers (i.e., relatives or foster parents) who would like to find ways to improve their relationships with their preteens and teens.  Adolescence can be a stressful time as youth strive for greater independence yet still need the support and guidance of their parents. Building or rebuilding stronger connections with their teens helps parents find new ways to effectively navigate these challenges.

Connect was developed by Dr. Marlene Moretti at Simon Fraser University. The program helps parents understand and respond to the changing attachment needs of teens.

What Happens in Teen Connect?

  • Parents and caregivers meet in small groups with two trained group leaders for 90 minutes each week for 9 weeks
  • Each week focuses on a new principle related to adolescent development and the parent-teen relationship.
  • Parents watch role plays, try activities, and join in discussions that help them understand and respond to  challenging behaviors problems.
  • Parents receive a handout at each session with key points to remember when applying the principles in their own relationship.
  • Connect recognizes that each parent and teen relationship is different. Instead of teaching one way to respond, we help parents find alternatives that work for their families in responding to their teens in ways that support healthy relationships, while setting limits and helping the teen be successful.
  • Before parents begin a Connect group, they have the chance to meet with the group leaders to learn more about how the group works and whether this is a good fit for them.

Does Connect Work?

After taking the group, parents report feeling less stressed and more effective in parenting. They also see fewer behavior problems and improved social functioning in their teens.

  • 97% of parents felt better equipped to understand their child.
  • 95% pf parents felt better equipped to understand themselves as a parent.
  • 86%  of parents saw positive changes in their relationship with their teens as a result of applying what they learned.
  • Parents also expressed that hey appreciated how the role plays showed them ways to handle different problems. They value the confidence they gained as a parent.  Parents also shared how the group leaders helped them feel positive and hopeful about their relationships with their teens. Parents finish the group feeling excited to see the gradual growth in the relationship.

To join these sessions or learn more, contact Evan Wood at evwood@kvc.org

See How Teen Connect Has Helped These People Become Better Parents!

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