The Authenticity Project: Dandelion Effect
In the past at Empowered Me, we have held workshops for teen girls in silo. As we empowered them, we realized that we also needed to strengthen parenting skills to enhance the parent-child/teen relationship. There is a disconnect because we have listened to the teens and they say they want their parents present to learn ways to cope with issues and feel close to them and have a healthy relationship and improve their mental health state (see, https://www.wsj.com/articles/what-teens-need-most-from-their-parents-1470765906). Empowered Me wants to close this gap. The teens have stressed that sometimes parents see them as weeds, parents say sometimes children see them as weeds. By giving them both the microphone to speak up, we can close that gap and spread kindness. “WHAT MAKES YOU DANDE (unique)?” This will not just be a conversation event. Two day weekend to educate, engage and weed out all the myths that both parents and teens have about each other. The event will provide tools to empower a healthy relationship and our anticipated outcome will be.
1. Normalize the discussions between parents and their teens and ease the parent/teen crisis
2. Strengthen parenting skills and improve communication skills
3. Enhance problem-solving skills and build trust to reduce unhealthy interactions
4. Reduce isolation and teach age appropriate behavior techniques
Overall, the perception will change from seeing a lawn manifested with weed to one with valuable flowers.
Who Will it Benefit?
Empowered Me intends to target adolescents aged 14 to 17 years with a parent or guardian (paired) to improve their relationships. The adolescents can be
1) any racial and/or ethnic background
2) consider themselves to be a person with a disability
3) At Hope children
4) Teens with low self-esteem 5) Teens affected by Domestic Violence
Parental behaviors have the most impact when it comes to promoting kids' success and flourishing. (see, https://www.inc.com/jessica-stillman/scientists-followed-thousands-of-kids-for-70-years-this-is-biggest-takeaway-for-parents.html)
All beneficiaries are parents and their children who want to improve their bonding. Phase one would target 50 Moms/Daughters. Phase two also 50 Dads/Daughters. Impacting these families will have a positive impact on the community and create a word of mouth advertising to other families in our community. We experience positive results when we have our Mother’s Day workshops and Father’s Day workshops. The testimonials and participant evaluations have proved that the need is there. The parents and their children have better relationships and skills when they leave the workshops.
We have been providing empowering workshops for girls and have seen the impact it has created in the community for over 6 years. By reaching out to more parents now, the workshops will be more sustainable as the parents will understand their teens better. We can in turn reach out and help more community members.
Understanding each other's uniqueness will have a Dandelion Effect: Spreading Kindness. Both parents and daughters will understand what makes them "Dande" as a result, it will make the bonding strong.