Challenges of Modern Parenting Is Topic of SUWS of the Carolinas Wilderness Therapy Program Presentation at National Convention

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SUWS of the Carolinas’ teen experts discuss internal and external challenges facing the modern family at national educational consultants’ convention in Philadelphia.

The initial goal for most families is to make a 5 percent change in a healthy direction.

Last month, two adolescent specialists from SUWS of the Carolinas teen wilderness therapy program made a presentation on the challenges of modern parenting to members of the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA) in Philadelphia.

As part of a breakout session titled “LOL, OMG, LMAO: Challenges Facing the Modern Family,” Jesse Quam, LCSW, and Brandon Moffitt, LPC, shared three internal and three external challenges facing families today.

Internal parenting challenges included:

1)    Employing an authoritative parenting style rather than a permissive or authoritarian style
2)    Nurturing secure attachments between parents and teens
3)    Creating healthy family rituals that foster connection and togetherness

External parenting challenges included:

1)    Economic and financial challenges
2)    Fostering quality family relationships in the Technology Age
3)    Social pressures and the need for parents and teens to feel supported

In addition to highlighting common parenting challenges, the speakers offered practical solutions that have helped hundreds of families at SUWS of the Carolinas, such as:

  •     Setting and enforcing limits around the use of television, computers, cell phones and other technologies (for both parents and teens)
  •     Creating opportunities for undistracted family time, such as family game night, family dinners, and special weekend projects or activities
  •     Learning how to identify emotions and communicate with “I feel” statements
  •     Approaching teens with a blend of warmth and firmness
  •     Providing structure, consistency, follow-through and predictability
  •     Remembering to slow down and stay in the present moment in times of stress

“The initial goal for most families is to make a 5 percent change in a healthy direction,” said Quam. “Turning their lives upside down isn’t sustainable or necessary. It’s the gradual shift that makes a lasting impact.”

The presentation concluded with case samples and a collaborative discussion. Attendees, who included educational consultants and clinical professionals, left the conference with new tools to support struggling teens and their families.

“These are challenges all families can relate to,” said Moffitt. “The IECA conference provided an ideal forum to discuss timely parenting issues and offer specific solutions that can benefit both parents and teens.”

About SUWS of the Carolinas

SUWS of the Carolinas is a therapeutic wilderness program for adolescents ages 10-17 with a focus on clinical intervention and assessment. The program uses the outdoors as an alternative to conventional treatment environments, while engaging students using traditional therapeutic methods. Since 1981, SUWS programs have provided guidance and support to thousands of misdirected and at-risk teens experiencing low self-esteem, defiant behavior, attention deficit, depression, substance abuse and other behavioral issues.

SUWS of the Carolinas is a program of Aspen Education Group, the nation’s leading provider of therapeutic education programs for struggling or underachieving young people. Aspen’s services range from short-term intervention programs to residential treatment, and include a variety of therapeutic settings such as boarding schools, outdoor behavioral health programs and special needs summer camps, allowing professionals and families the opportunity to choose the best setting to meet a student’s unique academic and emotional needs.

Aspen Education Group is a member of CRC Health Group, the most comprehensive network of specialized behavioral care services in the nation. For over two decades, CRC Health has been achieving successful outcomes for individuals and families.

For more information, please call (866) 515-5202 or visit SUWS of the Carolinas.

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Shawn Farrell
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