A group of parents from throughout the community recently attended an event presented by Madraigos which was an informative evening for parents of eighth- and ninth-graders, at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Nosson and Miri Ginsbury in Lawrence.
The evening was designed to impress upon parents the necessity of talking to their children about today’s pressing issues in a way that is caring, helpful and promotes a healthy parent-child relationship.
The program began with the host, Mr. Nosson Ginsbury, welcoming the attendees and expressing his hakaras hatov to Rabbi Dov Silver, founder and executive vice-president, Madraigos, and the rest of the Madraigos staff for their valuable work.
Introducing the Nassau County Police Commissioner, Mr. Patrick Ryder, was Rabbi Kenneth Hain, Rabbi of Congregation Beth Shalom. Rabbi Hain underscored the “fortunate convergence of Madraigos’ life-saving work and the leadership of Commissioner Ryder, whose passion is to make sure that the next generation is safe, healthy and able to thrive in our complex world.”
In a special address, Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder described the battle the police department is waging against the opioid epidemic. He discussed how police officers, together with emergency medical personnel, utilize various tools to get ahead of the situation.
Based on his experience, he also stressed the importance of parents having open communication with their children as a deterrent to substance abuse.
The Commissioner expressed his appreciation to the Five Towns/Queens community, and especially Madraigos, for inviting him to speak on this topic. “It is always a pleasure to speak to the Jewish community as I know they respect law enforcement and they should know we respect all of them!” commented Commissioner Ryder.
Rabbi Dr. Dovid Felt Ph.D., director of School-Based Services, Madraigos, cited a number of studies that demonstrated the benefit of having a serious conversation with their child about substance use. It allows the parent to share their own worldview and hashkafah on the topic and opens lines of communication for further discussion as children grapple with questions or challenges they may face in the future.
In a unique parent-child role-play demonstration, Rabbi Dr. Felt gave helpful tips and suggestions for making the conversation effective despite typical teenage reactions and responses. He also shared strategies for how parents can prepare their children for difficult social situations and peer pressure.
Rounding out the evening was a question-and-answer session with Madraigos staff. Mrs. Mindi Werblowsky, clinical director, Madraigos, suggested that parents make a concerted effort to educate themselves, especially before they actually have critical conversations with their children. She said that parents need to know as much as they can, even more than their children know, so they can appropriately help and protect them from danger.
Overall, the evening was a tremendous success. Parents, were appreciative that they had the opportunity to get vital information in a relaxed environment. They felt comfortable sharing their concerns and asking questions in a way they have never had before.
One parent said, “Thank you so much for providing a forum for parents to really learn about what our kids are dealing with on a daily basis. I now understand so much more about their challenges and most importantly, I’m coming away with clear, practical advice. So helpful!”
Rabbi Dr. Felt said, “It was wonderful to see parents eager to grow and learn more about their personal role as a parent in these very difficult times. I am grateful we met a critical need for the community. Thank you to Mr. and Mrs. Ginsbury for graciously opening their home, making this program possible.”
For more information, contact Rabbi Dr. Felt at 516-371-3250 ext. 111 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.