Session can help ease parent/teen stress | VailDaily.com

Session can help ease parent/teen stress

Daily staff report
newsroom@vaildaily.com

EAGLE COUNTY — It's no secret that kids are under a lot of stress these days. A plethora of standardized school testing and the "Race to Nowhere" phenomenon has created a generation of kids who feel enormous pressure to succeed both inside and outside of the classroom.

"Defining Mindfulness and Reducing Stress" is this month's Eat! Chat! Parent! topic Tuesday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Eagle County Charter Academy. Eat! Chat! Parent! provides free dinner, childcare and live interpretation. Parents with kids of all ages are invited to attend.

"The session topics are based on feedback from the previous year," said Jason Peck, Eagle River Youth Coalition program director. "We received requests for how to best help kids who are feeling stressed out. Our goal is to provide parents with solid information, informal conversation and useful tools to make the parenting journey a little smoother. We want parents to know they are not alone. If we can provide the forum to aid this process, we are helping the community and achieving our goal."

An expert panel for this month's Eat! Chat! Parent! session that includes Linda Miner, co-founder and president of Ute Springs Experiential Learning Center; Ann-Marie Desmond, co-founder of UB.U, certified Colorado teacher and certified yoga instructor; Rachel DeLong, co-founder of UB.U, certified yoga alliance instructor; and Mary Lou Keller, child welfare attorney and compassion cultivation trainer.

"The epidemic of rising stress levels among kids today is incomprehensible," said Desmond. "Kids lack the coping skills necessary to respond to challenging situations — anxiety, bullying, repeated testing and academic pressure, and to the potential pitfalls of our digital society. And, all of these situations present themselves during an average school day. We must do something now. We've seen first-hand the power of mindfulness, of giving kids tools for understanding themselves and others. It's time to get off auto-pilot, open our eyes and become aware of what's happening around us. It's time to respond."

To RSVP, call Peck, 970-949-9250 or email jpeck@eagleyouth.org.