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Partnering with Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s (CHOP) Center for Parent and Teen Communication (CPTC)

 · August 28, 2021

I can't imagine having been a teen during a pandemic, given my family situation at the time.

It’s no secret for those who have been following this page, or even attended offerings, that I am very upfront about the challenges I experienced with my identity, my cultural identity and how to reconcile it with my identity as a U.S.-born child of Mexican American immigrant parents. I often call this a straddling of two cultures, as if I was a giant and could very uncomfortably sit on the border. The discomforts of this identity for me, and for my single mom who didn’t or couldn’t recognize the person I was, did eventually create rupture between myself and my parents, because they could barely manage their own emotions. Because of this, I leaned heavily into the container of my peer groups and, because relationship and belonging is everything, this was both a beautiful thing and also could create risky situations.

So when this pandemic began, I remembered that part of myself and how much that version of myself would have struggled that much more. She probably would have felt trapped, suffocated, and maybe wouldn’t have made it through to 34, the age I am now.

And I think about how much better that would’ve potentially gone, pandemic or not, with my mom receiving adequate resources, not feeling like a burden to ask for support, and having access to mental and better physical, accessible health care.

What would it have been like if she had been able to have some space to reflect, reach out, and root us as a family unit back into connection with social and emotional supports that could’ve probably mitigated the harm and disconnection?

What would it have looked like if she honored our culture while honoring me as an individual in ways outside of just the survival-level showings of love: feeding, clothing, sheltering?

This level of empowerment would have been so protective of us both.

So, when I learned about the focus of the Center for Parent and Teen Communication at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, my heart raced with excitement. Finally, here is something concrete to help Latinx families with teens going 👏🏽 through 👏🏽 it 👏🏽.

The Center for Parent and Teen Communication (@parentandteen) helps parents raise teens prepared to thrive. Adolescence is a time of opportunity and parents matter more than ever. We strive to ensure every caring adult has the knowledge and skills to promote positive youth development and foster strong family connections. They have resources and articles readily available for communication strategies, growth and development, building character and more, all for parents of teens!

Their mission is so inspiring and in alignment with Latinx Parenting:  The Center for Parent and Teen Communication helps parents raise teens prepared to thrive. Adolescence is a time of opportunity and parents matter more than ever. We strive to ensure every caring adult has the knowledge and skills to promote positive youth development and foster strong family connections. 

Sign up for their newsletter to gain practical tips for parenting teens!

I particularly appreciate their effort to develop and address parenting practices that are "Culturally Responsive".  
Their Culturally Responsive Parenting section is centered on "culturally sensitive and responsive parenting content that builds on cultural strengths and addresses the unique stressors families of color face when raising teens today."  

In an article "How Latinx Parents Can Guide Their Teens Through the Post-Pandemic Transition Period"  Edith Bracho-Sanchez, M.D., Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Columbia University, interviews Maria Veronica Svetaz M.D, M.P.H., Assistant Professor of Family Medicine and Community Health at the University of Minnesota School of Medicine.  It is a great conversation and the following sentiment by Svetaz, M.D. stood out to me, "So, we have to do both- help parents get out of the protective shells they created around them as a first aid for their own traumatic event, to allow them to talk about their feelings and vulnerabilities and also meet their teens' needs."
Read the ArticleCPTC Culturally Responsive ParentingCPTC Website
This post is made possible with support from the Center for Parent and Teen Communication @ CHOP. All opinions are my own.

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There was a señora, we’ll call her Doña Lopez, in the 16-week Reparenting series that I just completed for a long-term community partner. Doña López could WRITE.

In multiple sessions, she would read something she wrote in between our times together. On the final night, which was Tuesday, she asked the group if she could read a four page letter that she had written to her mother, and intended to translate it for her daughter.

She emailed it to me this morning, all four pages and in ink, signed by her. I recorded the audio (without identifiers) and I want to play it for the community with her permission at some point. She mentioned to the group that she had found the letter, but as I heard her read it and as she shed tears (and we all did), I knew they were her words.

They were poetic words, poignant and beautifully painted on the page. I know good writers because I am one (or try hard to be one lol😅)

Randomly, this screen shot from April 2022 came up in my memories on my phone, and it made me think about Doña Lopez, mother of three, immigrant, service worker, healing inner niña, and natural born ESCRITORA.

I felt so proud and honored to be shared her writing. I didn’t even assign a final project! But I did weave in writings throughout that were meant to inspire some kind of creativity.

Access to our artistry is liberatory. We continue to fight systems of oppression so that we can choose art. We deserve access to the parts of our brain that are not survival-ridden. Our comunidad especially is one FULL of brilliant minds. Doña López is just one or them.

Now, go practice resistance by resting in an art practice. Mine is writing and dance.

What is yours? What about your parents?

Remember that I love you. ❤️

#LatinxParenting #EndChanclaCulture #RaisingFutureAncestors #DecolonizeOurFamilias #IJustWantMiGenteToHeal #TheCycleStopsConmigo

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[English Caption in Comments] Comunidad, una de las formas en que podemos honrar a las víctimas de la violencia armada es luchar por el control de armas para que ninguna otra familia o comunidad tenga que pasar por otra tragedia inimaginable.

Nuestra voz es nuestro poder y no podemos darnos el lujo de permanecer en silencio por más tiempo. La violencia armada continúa siendo la principal causa de muerte en los niños y es hora de que le pongamos fin.

La semana pasada hablé con Patricia Paduy-Oliver, quien perdió a su hijo Joaquín en el tiroteo de Parkland y fue una conversación que no olvidaré. Ninguna madre o familia merece perder a su hijo o ser querido por la violencia armada.

Mientras recordamos a Uvalde hoy, únete a nuestra lucha junto con @mamasconpoder y @changetheref para exigir que el Congreso tome medidas contra la violencia armada de una vez por todas.

1. Firme la petición para que el Congreso sepa que es hora de prohibir los rifles de asalto militar AHORA.

2. Manténgase actualizado con @mamasconpoder enviando un mensaje de texto al 747464

3. Visite www.myfirstschoolshooting.org (http://www.myfirstschoolshooting.org/) para leer Mi primer tiroteo en la escuela por Patricia Oliver y @changetheref y envíelo a sus funcionarios electos.

Cambiemos la realidad en la que vivimos y luchemos para asegurar un futuro en el qu
e nuestras familias y comunidades se sientan seguras contra la violencia armada.

#EndGunViolence #ViolenciaDeArmas #GunViolence #ParklandStrong #UvaldeStrong #stonemandouglas #uvalde #uvaldetexas #parklandshooting

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🎨: @tinamariaelena | “Shout out to the mothers who are healing their own childhood trauma.

The mothers who are healing emotionally and spiritually.

The mamas making the effort to break generational curses.

And the mamas who are putting their children’s mental, emotional, and spiritual needs first.

You are Superwoman without the cape, making sure you are raising emotionally intelligent children.

I see you and I honor you.” —Toshia Shaw

P.S. Our Healing the Madre Wound Introductory Workshop: Re-mothering the Latinx/Chicanx Mother is always accepting enrollees! Our workshop will not only support you in healing your Madre Wound, but help you in navigating your relationship with your mom, and setting boundaries when needed so you can thrive in your healing journey.

Remember, when you sign up for ANY of our Escuelita offerings, you get an invitation into our ✨special community✨ with other alumni who have taken the workshop so you can connect & grow with others who are also healing their Madre Wounds.

Visit our Escuelita in our L i n k i n B i o 🔗


#LatinxParenting #EndChanclaCulture #RaisingFutureAncestors #DecolonizeOurFamilias #IJustWantMiGenteToHeal #TheCycleStopsConmigo #MadreWound #Mothering

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Reclaiming our Familias.
Reclaiming Ourselves.
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