In collaboration with the school, the PTA organised a coffee morning in Kemerburgaz, generously hosted by one of our IICS parents. With a crowd of about forty parents, we had a lively discussion lasting until about 13:00. Why so long? Because our guest speakers from the US Consulate’s Drug Enforcement Administration were so informative on the topic of drug awareness and what parents can do to help support their teenagers in making the right decisions. There to provide additional information and strategies were IICS Secondary Counselor, Brenda St. George, as well as Secondary Principal Joe Lumsden and Secondary Counselor Kevin Burns.
The conversation covered the different types of drugs and the paraphernalia used, an overview of the drug scene in Istanbul, which is thankfully much less developed than the situation the DEA finds in Europe and North America. The behavioral signs parents can look for to identify potential usage problems were discussed, the challenges of peer pressure, what parents can do to keep open dialogue with their teen, and more. Parents were encouraged to share any concerns with the school counselor and to keep connected with each other.
This parent session complements a program running in the school for secondary students to raise knowledge and understanding of these issues. Next month the school will be hosting Tim Burns, a leading expert on the teen brain as well as the impacts of drug misuse in young people. He will be working with Secondary students and staff in early March. Tim will also be offering a session for Parents on Understanding the Teen Brain – certainly a mystery to most people!
In addition to the amazing program of tours around Istanbul, our PTA supports a series of these informative coffee mornings to help parents make the most of their time here in Istanbul.
Be sure to check out the details of next month’s PTA Coffee Morning and PTA Tour in the Friday Flash.