PTSA hosts first parent seminar of the year on Oct. 2

Student+advocate+Richard+Prinz+advises+parents+about+easing+their+children+into+high+school.+PTSA+organized+%E2%80%9COff+to+a+Good+Start%E2%80%9D+parent+seminar+on+Oct.+2+to+facilitate+open+discussion+regarding+the+various+parenting+issues+families+face.+Photo+by+Yashashree+Pisolkar.+
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PTSA hosts first parent seminar of the year on Oct. 2

Student advocate Richard Prinz advises parents about easing their children into high school. PTSA organized “Off to a Good Start” parent seminar on Oct. 2 to facilitate open discussion regarding the various parenting issues families face. Photo by Yashashree Pisolkar.

Student advocate Richard Prinz advises parents about easing their children into high school. PTSA organized “Off to a Good Start” parent seminar on Oct. 2 to facilitate open discussion regarding the various parenting issues families face. Photo by Yashashree Pisolkar.

Student advocate Richard Prinz advises parents about easing their children into high school. PTSA organized “Off to a Good Start” parent seminar on Oct. 2 to facilitate open discussion regarding the various parenting issues families face. Photo by Yashashree Pisolkar.

Student advocate Richard Prinz advises parents about easing their children into high school. PTSA organized “Off to a Good Start” parent seminar on Oct. 2 to facilitate open discussion regarding the various parenting issues families face. Photo by Yashashree Pisolkar.

Yashashree Pisolkar

Student advocate Richard Prinz facilitates student, parent discussion
This year, the Parent Teacher Student Organization is organizing three parent seminars. The first, which took place on Oct. 2, was “Off to a Good Start,” to help parents prepare their children for high school. At 7:30 p.m. Tuesday evening, parents and administration trickled into the library, some with notepads and a list of questions, for an informal question and answer session led by Student Advocate Richard Prinz. Although not all parents had the opportunity to voice their questions, their core concerns resonated throughout other parents’ comments and queries.“[They want us] to stop being a parent and start being a friend,” parent Madhu Kopalle said. “That is very difficult to do.”
First PTSA seminar of the year

Student Advocate Richard Prinz advises parents about easing their children into high school. PTSA organized “Off to a Good Start” parent seminar on Oct. 2 to facilitate open discussion regarding the various parenting issues families face. Photo by Yashashree Pisolkar.

Over the course of the sixty-minute seminar, parents had the chance to share personal concerns about their students with the 97 other parents who attended the free discussion. A worried mother expressed her disappointment regarding her son’s usage of headphones to listen to music while doing homework–– which in her opinion was an extremely ineffective study habit. A concerned father wondered when his children would show him some respect and maybe even say “I love you dad” once in awhile.

“[Parents] work all day and then they find time to come to these seminars,” Prinz said. “To me it shows that they are really interested in improving things at home.”

According to PTSA Chair of Parent Education Committee Kathleen McCulloch, the support system that the parent seminar offers reassures parents that they aren’t alone in tackling certain problems.

“Knowing that there are other people feeling the same way as you do has a very calming effect,” she said. “You realize that there is this common community and that [many] people are dealing with [such] issues.”

PTSA also promotes student involvement in on and off campus events that strive to alleviate the stress and hardships that students undergo. According to Prinz, participating in activities such as Challenge Day, meditation and parenting seminars proves to be beneficial for students as they are exposed to their parents’ perspectives on issues.

“Students go home and appreciate their parents so much more because they see how hard it is,” he said. “They see the struggles that parents go through [everyday].”

With the success of the first parent seminar, PTSA vice president of membership Prashant Kanhere hopes to continue publicizing future meetings and parenting classes to encourage more parents and students to take advantage of Prinz’s and other guest speakers’ expertise in the area of student-parent relationships.

“At the end of the day, it turns out that all parents want their children to be successful in life, well-balanced, academically [sound], and good people in general,” Kanhere said.