Join us for a 4-week series to share insights and advice on tools to help navigate the daily challenges of middle and high schoolers.  Each session will include a presentation, group discussions, and exercises plus time to connect with other teens and parents.

When: Wednesdays in October – 7pm-9pm, speaker at 7:30pm

Who: Middle and high school teens and their parents

Where: Christ United Methodist Church – 12755 NW Dogwood St., Portland

RSVP: via Facebook: Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4. Contact for more information


Week 1: Developing a Growth Mindset, October 4th

Some people believe their skills are a fixed commodity—they either have them, or they don’t. Others recognize that ability comes with effort, and with a willingness to learn through trial and error. These different approaches to the self have long-ranging consequences in life. This talk focuses on how to help kids (and parents!) look at the world from a growth perspective.

Speaker: Amelia Wilcox, PH.D., clinical psychologist and professor of psychology at Lewis and Clark College



Week 2: Learning New Tools for the Communication Toolbox, October 11th

Communication is the root of all problems…and the solution to all problems. If the only tool in your tool box is a hammer, all problems look like a nail. What other tools are in your box? Do you know how to use them? Focusing on youth peer to peer communication and challenging conversations, this workshop will add new tools and sharpen others.

Speaker: Christy Dirren, Pastor at West Portland UMC


Week 3: Strengthening Developmental Assets for Success, October 18th

The Search Institute has identified 40 development assets, or qualities, as essential building blocks to help youth grow into caring, responsible and successful adults. We will explore the principles of asset building, identify personal assets and discuss the opportunities for and the role of families in strengthening asset building with their youth.

Speaker: Kelly Peterson-Cruse, Trainer in 40 Development Assets


Week 4: Identifying Anxiety and Depression, October 25th

The teen years are full of emotional and physical change.  Feelings of sadness, unhappiness, and anxiety can outweigh feelings of happiness and make it difficult to function on a day-to-day
basis. What are the signs of anxiety and depression to look for in our teens (or ourselves)? What tools can help reduce anxiety? How do we engage with others who are anxious or depressed?  This workshop will focus on identifying anxiety and depression, and simple tools to help ourselves and those we love.

Speaker: TBD


This speaker series is part of the Christ UMC Children, Youth and Family Ministries programming and is sponsored by a grant from the Christ UMC Endowment.