Kristen Manieri (second from right) came up with the idea for the summit based on her experience parenting teens during the pandemic. (Courtesy of Kirk Buckland/Frozen Moments Photography)

Kristen Manieri (second from right) came up with the idea for the summit based on her experience parenting teens during the pandemic. (Courtesy of Kirk Buckland/Frozen Moments Photography)

Greater Victoria Teenhood Summit offers help for parenting teens

Parents to share their experiences, advice at virtual summit

Later this month, Westmont Montessori is planning a virtual summit discussing topics including mental health and social media use, but uniquely, it’s targeted at teaching parents.

The idea came after Kristen Manieri, co-planner of the event and a parent at the school, went to the school to talk about her experience as a mother during the pandemic.

“As a mom of two daughters – one a pre-teen and one a teen – I feel so totally out of my depth a lot of the time,” said in an email. “There’s no playbook for raising teens and it feels like things are changing so fast. But when I take the time to learn more about how teens develop and ways I can support that development while maintaining peace and order in our home, I feel more confident.”

Jason Bowers, vice-principal of secondary programs at the school said they had run similar events for parents before and parents had shown plenty of interest.

“Sometimes parents can feel really alone,” he said. “They’re challenged by this particular situation and thinking, ‘What do we do?’ That can feel really isolating. We just want to provide a venue where parents can realize, ‘Hold on a second, you’re dealing with the same issue.’”

Talks are being held to help parents and guardians deal with issues such as their child’s mental health, social media usage, and one on how parents can support themselves while parenting.

The Greater Victoria Teenhood Summit is being held virtually on Feb. 26. For more information, go to westmontschool.ca/learning-news/teenhood_summit.

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