Opening doors, bridging gaps

Laura Yang

 Alumnus parent addresses issues of trust with help from students

 

Family on the Edge, a family coaching practice founded by alumnus parent Carol Satterlee and her business partner Lisa Fairchild, hosted the "Teenage Secrets: What’s Trust Got To Do With It?" workshop at the library on Feb. 9.  

Satterlee, parent of class of 2009 alumnus Ryan Satterlee and class of 2007 alumna Allison Satterlee, and Fairchild started the presentations at school last year as a workshop for PTSA parents.  To prepare for the workshops, Satterlee and Fairchild collected student responses to questions regarding secrets and communication between parents and teens. A panel of five students read the anonymous responses to parents before opening up the floor to questions from parents.  

"[It gives them] the opportunity to speak to another teenager and realize that when [the parents] actually just listen…with a desire to understand, they kind of get this feedback [saying] ‘I’ll talk to you – but do it respectfully, and not judge what I say when I’m trying to give you what I think is honest’," Satterlee said.  

Senior Samuel Lui, who has been a student panelist for the past two years, feels that the student panel is an effective element of the workshops.  

“When parents are able to have a connection with the students [in the student panel] one-on-one, they are a lot more engaged…and that way they can learn a lot more about why their teenager acts a certain way,” Lui said.  

Also part of the student panel this year were seniors Mahlet Yared and Samantha Pham, sophomore Marc Wheeler and freshman Thomas Barber.  

Family on the Edge recently also hosted similar events at Lynbrook High School and is planning presentations for freshman AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) classes at Fremont High School, though Satterlee stresses that every presentation is individualized to each school.  

"What makes our presentations unique is that we will go and speak to specific topics that this particular school needs to talk about," Satterlee said.    

Satterlee and Fairchild chose to focus on trust issues with teens for the MVHS presentation as parents had expressed interest in learning how to deal with situations involving their children and secrecy.    

“Our mission is to be able to connect teenagers to their parents.  We know that there [are] a lot of generational things, but what it comes down to is just communication,” Satterlee said.  

To learn more about Family on the Edge, visit http://familyontheedge.com.

 

 

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